‘Ogun, Oyo, Ondo top in violence against women’
States that have not domesticated the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 (VAPP) have been blamed for the increasing rate of women abuse in the South West.
Among the states that top the list are Ogun, Oyo and Ondo.
The disclosure was made by participants at a one-day workshop organised by the New Initiative for Social Development (NISD), supported by the Department for International Development (DFID).
In a communiqué by the coordinator, Abiodun Oyeleye, the participants lamented that states in the southwest were yet to either domesticate the VAPP Act or have amended versions of it.
They, however, urged the affected states to do so without further delay to curb gender-based violence in the country.
They also condemned states where such laws are in place but inactive, saying it is like not having it at all.
The communiqué stated: “The statistics of violence against women in the southwest are disturbing and call for urgent intervention, lest we all become victims of it.
“This is coming at a time when the women, who form a critical component of our society are facing difficulties in assessing their rights under the law. The VAPP Act 2015 explicitly tells women how the protection of victims or potential victims are enhanced through the protection order.”
The statement added that the act is detailed and explicit, when compared with other laws in the country. NISD described it as a tool for protection against the infringement of rights of persons and women in particular.
The communiqué urged a sustained commitment from the media in the reportage of the VAPP Act.
The participants identified ignorance, stigmatisation, lack of family courts, religious concerns, incompetent and untrained public officers, as some of the challenges confronting violence against persons in the country.
They identified the necessity of a mass production of copies of VAPP Act, to pass the message across to key stakeholders.
The DFID expressed its readiness to give technical policy direction on issues that would improve people’s lives.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from media organisations in Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti.