A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Bauchi state has called on lawmakers in the federal and state house of assembly to push for a motion on the floor of the house, for the declaration of a state of emergency on sexual and gender violence in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the Coalition on Friday at the state Secretariat during a peaceful protest against rape cases in the country, the Executive Director of Attah Sisters Helping Hands Foundation ASHH, Mrs Comfort Attah, said that the escalating reports of violence against women and girls in Bauchi state and the nation at large has become a source of concern to all stakeholders in the country.
She said that since the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic alone, the number of calls from service providers on violence against women and girls has been on an increase in Bauchi state, adding that the service providers could not assist the victims because they were trapped in thier houses with thier abusers because of lack of access to phones or transportation.
“In the past one week alone, a 16 year old girl was abducted and ganged raped in Bauchi state.Again, Uwa was raped and killed in a church in Benin state while Tina was shot dead in Lagos state.Another 12 year old girl was raped in Jigawa state.Barakat was raped and stabbed to death as these are the only few reported in the news.We need justice and a declaration of a state of emergency.
“In Nigeria, one in four girls will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18.According to news reports, there have been only 65 rape convictions between 1973 and 2019.In many cases, the security settle the cases as household or family matters.More than half of women in Nigerians who have experienced sexual and physical violence have never sought help to stop the violence” she said
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She noted before the COVID 19 crisis, the national data from 2018, showed an increase in the percentage of women who experienced physical violence since the age of 18, from 11% in 2013 to 14% in 2018, adding that there is a continuous increase in the number of cases due to blaming of victims, lack of access to medical services and lack of access to justice.