A coalition of 60 NGOs under the auspices of Legislative Advocacy Coalition on Violence Against Women (LACVAW) has embarked on a sensitisation campaign in Bwari area council to end violence against women and children in the community.
The two-day town hall meeting for Bwari area council Abuja on data sensitisation held under the intervention strategy for the effective implementation of the VAPP Act (2015) project in Abuja.
The coordinator, LACVAW, Ms Eqy Anazonwu, said the efforts aim to curb the trend of sexual, psychological and physical violation meted on women and children in the community and society at large.
She stated that the meeting was in collaboration with the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme to emphasise on the significance of VAPP Act for Women and Girls in Nigeria.
“Women and girls are exposed to various forms of assault on their bodily integrity.
“The rising incidence of sexual violence, such as rape, incest, sexual assault and the like in the society is particularly alarming.”
She therefore stated the need for all stakeholders particularly law enforcement agencies, judicial system, traditional and religious leaders to unite in the fight against the scourge that is quickly gaining ground in the society.
“Such practices are not only condoned by large sections of society; they are upheld by members of the criminal justice system that should be protecting the rights of people who have experienced violence.
“Even when instances of domestic violence are taken to the police, they rarely treat such cases seriously, dismissing them as
private disputes and therefore not their responsibility.
“Perpetrators are able to continue engaging in the violence because their actions have no negative consequences,” she cried.
The chairperson, board of trustees, LACVAW, Dr Chairmaine Pereira, stressed the need to strengthen institutions like the legislature, NAPTIP, Ministry of Women Affairs, Judiciary and other CSOs, all need to understand the role the VAPP ACT to make implementation work effectively.
She said:”The ACT aim to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibits all forms of violence against persons and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders and related matters.”
Pereira stated that the ACT goes beyond the scope of existing legislation, such as the Criminal Code and the Penal Code, but represents the possibility of legal redress and penalties for violators in a more accessible form than did previously existing legislation.
Also speaking, the chairman, Bwari area council, Mr John Gabaya, while commending the efforts of the organisers, decried the rate of violence and other forms of abuses meted on women and children. (NAN)