The United Nations Population Fund calls on all relevant actors to do more to safe guard women and girls from violence following the growing number of cases of violence against women and girls (VAWG) reported recently in the public domain.

Women stand by candidates they believe in all the way, so politicians do a lot to gain their confidence. I thank Nigerian women who put their confidence in me and voted for me in 2015; …seeing this gathering. I am confident that the confidence is still there.” — Pres. @MBuhari

Notable cases that have caught public attention include those of 13-year-old OchanyaOgbaje, who was allegedly raped to death by a father and son duo in Benue in 2018; the case of a popular blogger Ms Linda Ikeji, who brought to attention the case of two boys who allegedly drugged and raped in Lagos in recent weeks; the reported story of Gift Alonge, who suffered countless incidences of sexual assault and defilement at the hands of her biological father and the case of a young woman in Benin City, who was brutalized through the insertion of pepper in her private parts by a group of young men.

UNFPA commends the Federal and State Governments on their efforts as well as that of Civil Society Organizations and other development partners thus far, which enabled the enactment of the 2015 Violence Against Person’s Prohibition (VAPP) Actand its passing in to law across some states and, the general greater awareness demonstrated by greater reportage by media.

UNFPA has Zero Tolerance for Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices and takes this opportunity to assure the Federal and State Governments for the continued advocacy and support for enactment and domestication of the required laws, capacity building of front-line response providers including law enforcement agents and the judiciary, awareness campaigns and for sustainable data management to support ending the scourge in Nigeria.

All these cases of violence reported, and the countless numbers, which go unreported, are symptoms of a larger malaise, which requires urgent national attention. UNFPA therefore appeals to all States in Nigeria to domesticate and enforce the VAPP Act, and calls on all relevant actors to take advantage of the VAPP Act to address the scourge of violence against women and girls in Nigeria.

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