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When children speak out against domestic violence

By Ajuluchukwu Brown, Abuja
04 December 2023   |   6:34 am
The Acting Director, Gender Security Studies, University of Abuja, Dr. Gloria Ibikunle, has expressed the need for children to speak out against domestic violence in the home. Mrs Ibikunle disclosed this at a one-day sensitization rally and medical outreach organized by the Centre for Gender Security and Youth Advancement in collaboration with the National Agency…

Mrs Ibikunle at a one-day sensitization rally and medical outreach

The Acting Director, Gender Security Studies, University of Abuja, Dr. Gloria Ibikunle, has expressed the need for children to speak out against domestic violence in the home.

Mrs Ibikunle disclosed this at a one-day sensitization rally and medical outreach organized by the Centre for Gender Security and Youth Advancement in collaboration with the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

With a theme, ‘Stop Domestic Violence’, held at Gwagwalada market, Abuja, she decried that domestic violence was on the increase in the society and as such, everyone in the household needs to step up.

According to her, the tragedy of domestic violence is that it also affects the children in the various homes where it occurs.

In her words: “The United Nations declares 16 days of activism every end of the year. Our contribution is putting together this one-day sensitization rally. We decided to come to the market this year rather than stay at the university.

“Domestic violence is increasing in our society. Husbands and wives need to learn how to settle matters in peace. The tragedy of domestic violence is that it also affects the children. When a child is brought up in a violent atmosphere, that child would most likely become violent.

“Children have a role in speaking out against domestic violence, though it depends on age but they are very instrumental.

In a real-life scenario, I have seen a 12 year-old boy look out for his mother running away from domestic violence. We have also seen scenarios where children team up to repel abusive parents.”

In his opening address, the Chairman of Gwagwalada Main Market Traders Association, Mr Aminu Lawan Bakinruwa, lauded the initiative and advised men to be more considerate in dealing with issues involving their wives.

He said: “We are very grateful for this rally and medical outreach. This awareness today will go a long way in addressing domestic violence involving any of our market people. I plead with men to love and cherish their wives. They should not be violent in addressing issues that may arise.”

Speaking at the rally, the representative of NAPTIP, Msheliza Paul Yati, reiterated NAPTIP’s commitment to assisting domestic violence victims. He said: “NAPTIP is one of the easiest agencies that is law enforcement based to access. The director general, prof. Fatima Waziri has made it so that we have several platforms for reporting. You can walk to the agency from the gate and write your complaint letter, you can send emails, you can call the call centre which works round the clock.

“Our emergency numbers connect without interruption. Like the 627 code. We now have the eye-report app that can be downloaded from Google.”

Also, the Chief Executive Officer, Noble Voice Against Women and Child Violence in Nigeria, who is a domestic violence survivor and counsellor, Naomi .E. Akpan, stressed the need for women to leave abusive marriages.

She further stated that children should report domestic violence in their homes to neighbours or anybody who can help inform the appropriate authorities.

“Domestic violence is not good at all. It is an experience that leaves a permanent scar on an individual. As a survivor, I advise anybody going through it to speak out and leave, don’t believe that the man or woman will change because it is innate.

“Children have a role to play, they should speak up to their neighbours, family friends, relatives like aunties and uncles, the pastors, or imams as the case may be or anybody who can help because if your parent dies, you will also feel the loss”, she said.

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