CSOs call for end to GBV, enactment of law to protect househelps



A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called for an end to all forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and enactment of law to protect househelps from hardships and trauma.

The group comprising of Centre for Women Studies and Intervention (CWSI) with supports from ActionAid, FIDA, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Catholic Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN) and others made this call during a press conference on Thursday in Abuja.

Executive Director, CWSI, Rev. Sister Ngozi Uti, described the increasing cases of rape and other forms of violence meted on women and girls as worrisome, calling for an urgent action to tackle the situation.

She also decried the spates of hardship and trauma househelps go through in the hands of their employers, calling on the government to enact stiff punishment, which would serve as deterrent to others.

“We are crying out loud in condemnation of this crime that is causing so much pain in our society. We are by this call appealing to the consciences of all Nigerians to stand up against this crime to humanity, help restore our society and assure security to our women and girls.

“We also appeal to the government and our lawmakers to enact laws that will protect househelps and care givers who also suffer untold hardships and trauma in the hands of their mistresses.’’

Uti, reiterated the commitment of the organisation in supporting survivors of GBV, urging the media to continue to create more advocacy to the public so as to bring an end to the menace.

Also, Onyekachi Eke, Media Officer, CISLAC stressed the need to educate the public on the effects of stigmatising the survivors of GBV, which has deterred victims to report violence or abuse to the appropriate authorities.

Eke also harped on the need to educate the public, especially young children on sexual and gender based violence, its causes, effects and appropriate treatment.

Similarly, Senior Project Officer, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, (WRAPA), Dinma Nwanye-Ajanaku, urged the public to report such cases, as well as ensure they pursue it to the prosecution of the perpetrators.

Nwanye-Ajanaku added that the sexual offenders register has also aided in the naming and shaming of those guilty of perpetrating such acts, which has serve as a deterrent to others.

Kehinde Afolabi, representing ActionAid, said the organisation had trained some selected frontline persons from various communities to educate the people on GBV.

Afolabi added that the training of the frontline workers has helped in curtailing and arresting perpetrators of SGBV at the grassroots level.

On her own part, Chairperson, FIDA (Nigeria) Abuja Branch, Racheal Adejo-Andrew, urged states that were yet to adopt the Violence Against Persons (VAP) law to do so with all urgency in other to protect children, women and vulnerables.

Adejo-Andrew also called on the government to implement the law to the full, which would provide psychosocial supports, as well as legal and medical supports to the survivors.

“Adopting the VAP would enable the survivors have access to counseling, therapy and all other forms of supports to enable them cope with the trauma,” she said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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