NEEM Foundation, a crisis response Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has expressed concerns over increasing cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) despite interventions from government and development organizations, disclosing that 513 incidents have been recorded in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) between January 2021 and June 2022.
The foundation added that in Adamawa state, from January 2021 to May 2022, 659 cases have been reported from the 21 LGA’s in the state with Yola North, Numan, Yola South, Demsa and Gerei recording the highest incidents.
It called for the establishment of more designated courts to handle GBV cases , saying this will facilitate speedy access to justice for victims.
Senior Communications Officer at the Foundation Betiku Adedoyin, made the call in Abuja during a round-table with key media partners on strengthening GBV responses, convened by the Foundation in collaboration with the UN spotlight initiative , the Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Justice and the UNFPA Nigeria, while advocating for adequate funding, special courts to curb GBV in the country.
‘’Despite the extensive commitments and intervention, SGBV persists. According to the GBV dashboard 513 GBV incidents were reported in the federal capital territory within the period of January 2021 to June 2022. In Adamawa state, from January 2021 to May 2022, 659 cases have been reported from the 21 LGA’s In Adamawa state with Yola North, Numan, Yola South, Demsa and Gerei reported the highest incidents,” she said.
According to her, the round-table was to discuss media accountability in combating gender-based violence and the need for continuous cooperation between the media and NGO’s to raise awareness about GBV across the country.
She described GBV as a constant reminder of women’s low status in the society and disparity between genders, therefore called for improved public funding to tackle the menace at the state and federal levels.
‘’Sexual and Gender Based Violence is not only a consequences of gender inequality but also a constant reminder of women’s low status in society and the multiple disparities between genders.
‘’Research show that girls living in Nigeria could have experienced at least one form of sexual assault by the time they reach 25. There is a need for a specific budget to support sustained GBV in relevant ministries, Departments and Agencies,’’ she said.
She expressed worry that though government and other development organisations have supported interventions to curb GBV, the menace persisted across the country.
Fielding questions from the media, the Assistant Director Women’s Rights Division at the Ministry of Women Affairs, Victoria Lar, said GBV cases has remained consistent with 11 states reporting to the ministry’s dashboard on daily bases.
She recalled that though the number of reported cases were higher during the covid19 pandemic and from just six states, eleven states now report GBV cases to the ministry through the dashboard.
”A lot of cases are coming in through the ministry’s dashboard and this shows that more people are getting aware, though only a few have assessed justice due to lack of evidence. Secondly, victims end up dropping out the case for the stress of going back and forth every now and then and survivor’s relations get discouraged for the slow pace of accessing justice.
”The ministry of women affairs is demanding for special courts from the attorney general of justice to enable people access justice and also reduce the many cases with FIDA,” she stated.