Sexual violence a threat to women’s growth
• WARIF leads 16-day campaign against menace
A Non-Profit Organisation, Women at Risk Foundation (WARIF), has joined in the global campaign against growing cases of sexual violence against women and girls
Its founder, Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru, said in a statement to The Guardian yesterday that WARIF would honour the ‘2018 16 days of activism’ set aside by the United Nations to address the issue With the theme: “#HearMeToo,” she disclosed that the UN’s Orange the World campaign, takes place annually from November 25 to December 10.
She urged all Nigerians to rise against the global challenge while pledging to aggressively amplify the voices of women globally through public service announcements.
DaSilva-Ibru said the foundation would also use e-fliers, banners, interviews, photos and survivor stories to depict the insecurity posed by the threat.She stressed that the methods would address the social problem and place spotlight on the stories of survivors, and the issues that surround gender based violence.
The founder expressed concern about the depression that often sets in, as well as the general instability of the mind that follows every occurrence, lamenting that the situation has hindered millions of Nigerian women and girls from realising their full potentials.
According to her, with over 10,000 girls experiencing sexual violence everyday, 1 in 4 females facing sexual violence in childhood, and 84.0 per cent of girls abused, not knowing where to seek help, there is the need for an urgent solution.
DaSilver-Ibru flayed the general cycle of sexual abuse that exists within communities in Nigeria and beyond, and restated that the WARIF campaign is a reminder to all stakeholders to support women in the fight against gender violence in Nigeria.
“WARIF is saying ENOUGH to the silence and stigma associated with speaking up against the issue, to women living in fear, violence and insecurity. This global pandemic of violence against women is perpetrated through forms of physical violence, sexual abuse, trafficking, genital mutilation and so much more.
“Women all over the world suffer these various forms of abuse in silence and we can no longer continue to sit and remain quiet in the midst of this growing concern,” she said.
The WARIF head added that giving women a voice to speak out would empower survivors of gender-based violence, and allow them to take their power back, speak the truth and make the healing process to begin.She bemoaned the scourge, asking: “Are you not tired of the silence that is so deafening, the muffled cries of women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence, echoing from the street corners, trailing from their bedrooms, with everyone else numb to their pain?