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Firms support gender-based violence victims with N100m fund

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Nigerians urged to kick against sexual harassment in markets, work places

With the worrisome statistics showing a 50 per cent increase in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) against women and children in Nigeria, Platform Capital and Diatom Impact has unveiled Heart Initiative, a fund set up to provide financial support to victims of domestic violence to enable them to move on and rebuild their lives.

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According to the United Nations, approximately 2.58 million women in Nigeria need protection from GBV, hence the awareness about the 16 days of activism against GBV, an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.

Founder of Platform Capital Group, Dr. Akintoye Akindele, lamented that while the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged economies and societies globally, forcing a lockdown, thousands of women who were forced to stay at home with their abusive partners suffered various forms of domestic violence.

Recalling Olamide Alli’s death, whose fiancé murdered, leaving behind two sons, Akindele said the initiative is committing N100 million to provide more support for women experiencing domestic violence, adding that the fund will provide direct financial assistance to women seeking refuge from domestic violence and sexual abuse, such as rent, children tuition, and emergency services.

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He added that women in dire need would receive stipends for up to six months to cover food and transportation.

“Violence in relationships is a sign of a broken society and this must be rooted out at all cost. To help propagate this, Platform Capital and Diatom Impact are announcing the Heart Initiative, a fund that we have set up to help victims of domestic violence transit and rebuild their lives,” he added.

Also speaking, Director of Impact and Research, Dr Anna Bethune, said while most victims stay in abusive relationships to ensure they and their children can eat and have shelter, the Heart Initiative exists to provide them the necessary support they need to transition into independence.

MEANWHILE, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) has urged Nigerians to speak up against sexual harassment and workplace assault.

The group said women had been targets of sexual harassment and workplace assault more often than their male counterparts and they experience the negative consequences of such dastardly acts, including physical and mental health problems, and career interruptions.

President of the group, Mrs. Funmilayo Arowoagun, during an advocacy meeting also noted that children, female traders, and customers now face harassment at markets and business premises.

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