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Group leads sensitisation on VAPP in Adamawa

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Hon. Kate Mamuno (right), Salamatu Tanimu of ATV Yola, and Oluwaseun, Ayodeji Osowobi

Following passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill by the State House of Assembly in Adamawa, Stand To End Rape Initiative (STER), has stressed on the need to enhance the implementation of the act in the state.

This was the thrust at a three-day capacity building workshop of stakeholders with support from the Joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative on the importance of law and the benefits of its implementation particularly for women and girls in Adamawa State.

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The training engaged state and non-state actors including community leaders, religious leaders, disability rights groups, women and youth-led organisations, the Nigeria Police Force, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health and media advocates among others on the definitions of violence and relevant correctional sentences, benefits of the law, disadvantages of traditional case management mechanisms and communication strategies to ensure that all members of the state are informed on their rights based on the provisions of the VAPP Act.

A member of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, Hon. Kate Mamuno pledged to ensure that perpetrators of violence are severely punished according to the provisions of the VAPP Act and all relevant stakeholders will be held accountable towards ensuring the law is in full effect and used for the benefit of community members especially women and girls. She also assured STER and participants of the Governor’s commitment to assent to the bill within a short time.

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To further reach people at the grassroots and ensure awareness of the provisions of the VAPP Act, STER also engaged members and community leaders of Yola-North, Yola-South and GEREI communities in a dialogue to enlighten them on access to justice under the VAPP Act and to gain their support for the implementation of the bill. This effort is expected to encourage residents stamp out of violence within the community and take relevant steps to access justice for the victim or survivor.

Executive Director, STER, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi stated that the organisation will continue to do more to support stakeholders towards the implementation of the VAPP Act to reach the overall goal of advocating for the rights of all persons especially women and girls towards achieving a world free of violence and discrimination in all its forms.

Judging from states that have domesticated the Act in recent years but have low implementation rates, STER will continue to work with these stakeholders to increase efforts towards sensitization and awareness of the VAPP Act and its implementation in the state.

STER is a leading youth-led and award-winning organisation advancing gender equality and employing innovative interventions to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence in all spheres within Nigeria while working to change community perceptions on sexual violence and gender inequality.

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