Movement tasks NPF to implement functional units to address GBV

The #StateofEmergencyGBV Movement has called on the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to implement well-resourced functional Family Support Units and Force Gender Units of the Nigeria Police Force to address Gender Base Violence (GBV) cases in collaboration with and at the state level.

According to the movement, there should also be public disciplinary measures against officers of the Nigeria Police Force and state prosecutors who mishandle cases of Gender Base Violence ( GBV).

The Executive Director, TechHerNG, Chioma Agwuegbo while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday expressed concern that too many women and young girls have lost their lives to these heinous acts perpetrated by criminals yet unfortunately, many more continue to die, with cases either totally ignored and justice delayed indefinitely.

The movement also called for the establishment of independent specialised courts for sexual offences, which will be the best way forward in each state.

Other demands are the establishment of new/fund existing Sexual Assault Referral Centers (SARCs) and shelters in every state and a Sexual Offenders should be opened in states.

In her words “According to the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (2018), 30% of girls and women between the ages of 15 and 49 reported being subjected to sexual abuse.

“The Lagos State Domestic and Gender Violence Response Team reported a total of 3193 cases of gender-based violence between January and December 2020 alone. The statistics are similarly dire across the rest of the country.

“A year ago, on the 3rd of June 2020, we launched the #StateOfEmergencyGBV Movement following the death of the 22-year-old Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, to advocate for urgent actions to prevent the scourge of sexual and gender-based violence and respond to incidents sustainably, prioritising health, justice, and redress for survivors.

“Today, we are here to ask our leaders who promised to take action against this scourge, what has changed ?

“We are hoping that answers to these questions will be provided through the Freedom of Information requests we sent to the Nigeria Governors Forum, the Nigeria Police Force, the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Eradication of Sexual & Gender-based Violence, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and the National Human Rights Commission.

“Today marks seven days since the FoI requests were sent, the maximum number of days required by the law to respond to such request.

“That is what a state of emergency should entail, but, tragically, we have seen more rhetoric than action while young girls and women are daily molested, raped and killed by a growing number of criminals.

“We call on all well-meaning Nigerians to demand action from our leaders. The persistence of GBV in our society is primarily due to a lack of political will from our leaders to swiftly punish offenders within the specification of the laws,” she said .

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