A Non-Governmental Organization WRAHP weekend, said that 30 percent of Nigerian girls and women between the ages of 15 to 49 have experienced sexual abuse.
The Programme Manager of the Organisation, Mr. Fransic Umoh disclosed this during a sensitization meeting for media representatives on effective documentation of reported sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases in Ebonyi state.
In a statement by Mr. Umoh, he stated that about 3 to 10 women in the country experienced physical violence by age 15.
The statement reads, “Globally, it is estimated that 1 in 3 women experience either physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime. These figures are mirrored in Nigeria, with 30% of girls and women aged between 15 and 49 reported to have experienced sexual abuse alone. Nearly 3 in 10 Nigerian women have experienced physical violence by age 15. According to the United Nations, 11, 200 Nigerian women and girls were raped in 2020.
Umoh further noted the efforts by the organization in addressing the menace.
“As part of efforts to address this challenge, WRAHP with the support of the Open Society Foundation (OSJ) implemented a 21 months project on “Enhancing Gender equality and Protection from Gender-Based Violence for Women and Young Girls in Ebonyi State”. The general objective of this initiative was to improve protection from SGBV for women and young girls through the VAPP Law in Ebonyi State. While the specific objectives were to: increase awareness of the provisions of the VAPP Law among 5000 community members in 2 LGAs in Ebonyi State; and to strengthen reporting pathways for survivors of SGBV through mandated reporters in 2 LGAs in Ebonyi State.
“The key accomplishments of this project included: A crop of 38 committed community SGBV advocates raised in Ebonyi State, who are engaged in community sensitization sessions on VAPP law and working to protect women and girls from SGBV.
The availability of the simplified edition of the Ebonyi State VAPP Law to members of the community, both adults and young people; 5,000 of such copies were produced and distributed using multiple community channels.
“Increased understanding of the provisions of the Ebonyi State VAPP Law and other SGBV-related issues among 14,877 (5,334 males and 9,543 females) community members, both adults and young people.
“Networking and partnership for effective and comprehensive SGBV response in Ebonyi State with key State and Non-State Actors such as (the State Police Command, Ministry of Justice, Ebonyi State GBV Task Force, National Human Rights Commission, NAPTIP, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Child Protection Network, the media, etc.)
He highlighted recommendations by WRAHP to curb SGBV:
“Establishing Sexual Assault Referral Centers (SARCs) to provide psychosocial, legal, and medical support for survivors of SGBV in Ebonyi state.
Creating and strengthening coordinated GBV response structures at the local government and community levels.
Provision of hotlines for ease of reporting cases of violence against women and girls, Providing economic empowerment for adult survivors of GBV, and a scholarship program for children who are out of school because of abuses, among others.