July 29, 2023

NGO enlists more youths as gender-based violence advocates

NGO enlists more youths as gender-based violence advocates

By Cynthia Alo

A non-profit organization, Leadership Initiative For Youth Empowerment, LIFE, believes that training and social facilitation for adolescent boys and girls to curb gender-based violence is urgently needed.

LIFE says there is an increasing trends in the menace of sexual abuse and molestation of innocent children in many communities across the country.

According to a spokesperson for the organization, Omolola Oni, news about this disturbing trend inundate the media everyday and people must be boldy encouraged to speak out and curb the ill practice for the good of everyone.

According to her, keeping silent over this unholy act would not only aggravate the situation but emboldened the perpetrators.

She stressed that silence over evil is a form of consent and that everyone who abhors evil must speak out and encourage others to do same.

“Of course there are ways one can report evil deeds to relevant authorities and still live safe in the society. We understand the fear of some persons regarding speaking against any evil practice. (Fear of the unknown) but we must not shy away or pretend we’re not aware of it,” she charged.

It is to this end that LIFE organized a 3 day training workshop for young people towards becoming advocates and Change agents in their various communities.

Many of the youths who were drawn from communities across Lagos state where these evil practice are common have now agreed to report all forms of sexual abuses and molestation observed in their localities to appropriate authorities.

The training exposed the youths to procedures and techniques in Advocacy. They were also taught how to engage law enforcement agencies, particularly the Human Rights desk of the Nigeria Police.

The trainees also learnt the language and terminologies of communicating with survivors of trauma for better reintegration, rehabilitation and reformation.

One of the facilitators, Mrs. Bose Iro Nsi, who spoke extensively on the role and importance of SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centres) urged well- meaning leaders across board to encourage more capacity building for youths against this menace in our communities. “Our socio- economic, religious and political leaders must be at the forefront in this movement to end this menace. We’re all involved in this issue because this is a challenge that affects everyone in the country. If we don’t stop it now, our society may degenerate to something else. The media, the Civil Society Organizations, the government, volunteer groups and everyone must do their bids to get rid of this evil act, if we must live in a secured society” she admonished.

Other advocates, enthusiasts and crusaders in this movement charged law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to rise to the occasion and do the right things when handling issues relating to domestic violence, gender based assaults, abuses and molestations, saying, “People do not speak out because they believe victims and their families hardly get justice from Law enforcement agencies and the court.”