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15 persons get different jail terms for gender-based violence in Akwa Ibom

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Akwa Ibom State government has secured different jail terms for more than 15 offenders of gender-based violence in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, disclosed this yesterday in Uyo during a one-day enlightenment campaign with the theme, ‘Fight against Gender-Based Violence.’

She said: “The ministry in 2018 established a gender-based violence prevention and response centre with a toll-free line number and desk officers to attend to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) survivors who call to report cases for intervention.

“A synergy was equally established by the ministry among different service providers in the humanitarian sector for proper co-ordination, experience sharing, data validation, and management as well as referrals for the sole purpose of stemming the tide of GBV in the state.

“In view of the foregoing, let me use this forum to announce to everyone that over 15 judgments had been secured in the court and the offenders are serving different jail terms in prison.”

Edet, who commended the governor for declaring zero- tolerance on cultism and violence in the state, however, identified complicity by some security agencies, and compromise by survivors, as major challenge working against efforts to tackle the menace, which has become a global phenomenon.

She, therefore, urged parents, caregivers, teachers, school authorities, community and religious leaders, security agencies and well-meaning individuals to co-operate with her ministry in the fight to make the state violence-free by speaking out.

“The greatest challenge to the fight against gender-based violence is complicity by some security agencies who release offenders without charging them to court, as well as compromise by survivors and their families who go behind to collect money from the perpetrators of the crime and settle out of court.

“The ministry seriously frowns at such acts because they make our efforts unfruitful and the ministry will continue to prosecute all those who connive with GBV culprits to abort the efforts of the state government in combating crime.

“I equally thank some security agencies that have been joining hands with the ministry to fight gender-based violence,” she added.

In the same vein, Director, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Uyo, Dr. Ukpong Udofia, who spoke on “Sexual Exploitation and abuse,” pointed out that though both women and men experience gender-based violence, majority of the victims are women and girls.

“However, in recent times, few female partners have decided to take the bull by the horn killing their male partners. In actuality, sexual exploitation and abuse should be frowned at in its totality by all human beings.

“If one is sexually exploited and abused, please say something, speak out, silence is not an excuse, rather, silence ensures further damage and breach of a health, which is wealth,” she admonishes.


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