NGO intensifies effort to end violence against women, children in Imo
The Alliance for Africa (AfA), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has advocated stringent measures to tackle the increasing violence against women, girls and children in Imo State.
Rising from a two-day capacity training organised in Owerri with support from the African Women Development Fund (AWDF), AfA canvassed establishment of special offences court and police units across the state to treat gender-based violence cases.
It also sought effective legislation such as the Imo State Protection of Basic Law and Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act to address all forms of violence against women and children in the state.
AfA also inaugurated a committee comprising government agencies and other NGOs to help maintain state level sensitisation, coordination and policy formulation.
It urged parents, churches, schools and the media to encourage victims to speak out in cases of abuse or violence.
Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, Dr. Blessing Azubuike of the state Ministry of Gender Affairs and Social Development and Blessing Duru of AfA, said the committee would embark on an awareness campaign in the 27 council areas and 640 communities in the state on issues of violence.
They also decried the high rate of violence incidences in the state and appealed for media partnership in the awareness campaign, stressing that complete eradication of the menace was a collective responsibility.
“The statistical evidence and facts of violence against women and children in Imo State are before us and they are on the rise. As citizens of the state, we must act to end violence and make the society a safer place for women, girls and children.
“There is need for mass awareness campaign and outreaches in the state. This call to action is a collective effort and everyone must be involved.
“It is not for the committee alone. Churches, media, government and all citizens must consciously support this effort” the said.
The committee comprises International Federation of Female Lawyers (IFFL), National Orientation Agency (NOA) and National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Others are the Imo State Child Protection Network, Virgin Heart Foundation, the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and National Human Right Commission (NHRC), among others.