By Elizabeth Adegbesan
IN a bid to curb the increase in domestic violence in the country, the National Women-in-Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has embarked on a road walk to campaign against the scourge.
The road walk themed: “Say No to Domestic Violence” saw participants from various sub organizations under the association with placards carrying inscriptions such as Leave, to Live to survive; It is better to be a survivour than be deceased, We can help you; Being Violent is not cool, it is done by fools,; Violence is not Smart; among others.
Addressing members of the association at the Office of the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in Alausa Secretariat, Lagos State, the Commissioner Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada said that 70 per cent of cases reported to the ministry are women related violence and that three to five women report their husbands on a daily basis.
Dada, who was represented by Director, Domestic Violence Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Olorunfemi Oluwatoyin, said: “On a daily basis we receive nothing less than 3 to five cases of women coming to report their spouses. Men also come to report but their number is limited. It is a business that we must take seriously.
“Because of shame, some women don’t report domestic violence. However, due to the awareness created through campaigns people are now coming out. So, we are receiving more cases now.
“The percentage of cases of domestic violence reported is like 70 percent while men may be like 10 percent because they are not really violated. Most times the men’s reports are based on their wives being in care of their children. Such a scenario is emotional not physical.
“Lagos State prosecutes offenders. You know prosecution is through the Nigerian police. Any case we see that is serious especially sexual violence. It will go for prosecution. No mercy. We get convictions in court on a daily basis.”
On her part, Comrade Faith Usoro, Chairperson National Women-in-PENGASSAN expressed dissatisfaction on the act of domestic violence saying: “You must agree with me that domestic violence against women is very unfair. After all we have gone through to give men a face, we end up being battered and at the end of the day the woman because she wants to protect and make a successful marriage ends up dying.
“We are here to tell men not to touch women irresponsibly. Talk to them with respect. We want to be honoured, we want to be loved, and we want to be cared for.
“The men don’t have the mouth to speak and they end up bearing that pain. We are here to make you understand that we will not tolerate you being violated too.”
On how to hold back domestic violence she said: “ For women we should try to hold back a bit and for the men when you see that you are being pushed to the wall, just pick a shirt and leave for a while.”
Comrade Nikki Duru, Lagos Zonal Chairperson, Women-in-PENGASSAN noted that the menace is being treated worldwide but has increased in Nigeria.
“Women-in-PENGASSAN worldwide are saying No to domestic violence. There is a large awareness worldwide but it is on the increase in Nigeria especially that is why we have decided to take this peaceful walk to create that awareness.”