…urges community participation in GBV cases

By Victoria Ojeme and Fortune Eromosele

A non-governmental organisation, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, WRAPA, has called on the federal government to sanction perpetrators of Gender Based Violence, GBV, as well as urging communities to participate in curbing the heightened spate of GBV against women and girls.

Senior Project Officer for WRAPA, Dinma Nwanye made the call at a technical session on contextual challenges and existing opportunities for survivors of VAWG under the project Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) faith and culture leaders supporting VAWG accountability; with the theme: “Moving from rhetoric to action,” in Abuja.

She noted that as long as the menace of violence against women and girls continues, campaigns against the act will not cease until certain measures are in place and there are swift actions against perpetrators of the act.

She stated: “We are never going to stop talking about it, we will keep amplifying voices for survivors to open up and talk about it.

“The reason why we are hearing more about it, is because individuals and organisations like WRAPA and other civil society organisations are putting in efforts so that survivors of violence against women and girls can come out and say the trauma they are going through.

“Efforts are being put in place to ensure that accountability demands are extracted from perpetrators. So as long as the menace remains, we will continue to speak about it until there is an end to the menace.

“Going forward from this, we nee to put measures in place to cushion these happenings. One way is through WRAPA’s project on violence against women and girls accountability project. And the project is moving from rhetoric to action.”

She added that communities need to be engaged in ensuring that there is adequate information relayed to the government agencies to ensure quick response to any form of violence against women and girls.

She said: “We came with our partners to discuss what can we do to ensure is not just talk but actions. And then we decided to go into the communities, beginning from the grassroots. That’s why we have decided under this project to work with cultural leaders to ensure that accountability demands are made to the perpetrators.”

Fielding questions from journalists regarding the domestication of the Violence Against Persons, VAP Act,  Nwanye said, “We would put pressure on states who are yet to domesticate the Act but beyond domesticating it, there is also the need for implementation.”

On her part, Director Abuja Metro Office, National Human Rights Commission, Aisha Katungo, lauded the federal government for its efforts in dealing with perpetrators of violence against women and girls, but however called for more intervention and grassroot engagement to cushion the act.

“Even though the government is doing a lot of intervention, there is still need for improvement because the cases are still there.

“These issue of violence against girls boils down to the grassroots, it has to do with individuals and communities that are involved. Because of lack of sanction against the perpetrators to show them as examples is a major problem.

“If the people at the grassroots can be empowered more of their efforts will be felt and it will definitely compliment whatever the government is and will be doing to curb the issue of violence against girls,” she said.

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