CSOs Call For Stronger Prevention, Response Systems To Reduce Gender-Based Violence
- Say Growing Cases Of Violations Source Of Concern
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called for a stronger prevention and response systems to reduce sexual and gender-based violence in the country.
KASA, an organisation aimed at addressing sexual violence in Nigeria, whose campaign was funded by the African Women Development Fund through White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) Kenya stated this while briefing Journalists in Nigeria.
It also urged stakeholders and gender equality advocates to create a safe environment where survivors of sexual and gender-based violence could comfortably share personal experiences to curb the menace in the country.
The group stated this on the sidelines of the survey where they engaged over 5,000 women, girls and vulnerable people across four States in Nigeria suffering from sexual violence.
Christy Asala, Representative of the African Women Development Fund, said the data obtained from the survey is of great concern.
“The data that we observed from the survey is a source of concern because the numbers are enormous and during the listening session, the respondents were able to share from their experiences, what happened to them, or a relative that has been sexually abused.”
She stressed the need for a safe environment to be provided where survivors can always share personal experiences.
”We might have a lot of elders coming out to speak up because at that point they have nothing to lose. The perpetrator can tell them, If you talk I will kill you, I will harm you, but when you bring them to a safe space they begin to talk, so there is a need for a peaceful environment for them to open up to you,” she noted.
Asala disclosed that during a survey across the four states, women, girls and vulnerable individuals were asked what they wanted and how they would address sexual violence.
"The data that we observed from the survey is a source of concern because the numbers are enormous and during the listening session, the respondents were able to share from their experiences, what happened to them, or a relative that has been sexually abused"
Among the 5,426 respondents, about 47 percent disclosed that they had experienced sexual violence.
Further analysis of age-specific data brought to light varying prevalence rates
“Those above 60 years reported a 61 percent incidence, while respondents aged 21-30, 31-40, and 41-50 faced a shared rate of 51 percent. Respondents aged 51-60 encountered a 49 percent Prevalence, and individuals aged 10-20 revealed a troubling 39 percent exposure to sexual violence,” she said.
Charles Jang, Research Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, said 61 percent of the respondents are above age 60. While 39 percent of respondents are from age 10 to 20.
He added that less data from ages 10-20 is a result of a lack of knowledge of sexual violence and people being afraid due to the environment.
“We need to improve the magnitude of the result at the state level. A whole lot of people are trying to break the culture of silence, but at the point where they will come and report, the procedure is not followed till the end.
It is either the Ministry of Justice is not meeting up or the police force is defaulting,“ he said.