Stakeholders in the campaign against gender-based violence against women and girls, on Wednesday raised the alarm over increasing cases of Violence Against Women And Girls, VAWG, disclosing 36 per cent of ever-married women have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence in the hand of their spouses while 1 in 4 girls have equally experienced sexual violence.
In Lagos alone, a total of 455 cases of child protection concerns were recorded in one year as reported by barristerng
Disclosing these and more during the opening of a 4 -day Media Dialogue with Journalists on Ethical Reporting and Advocacy to Eliminate Violence Against Women And Girls jointly organised by Spotlight Initiative Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, they lamented that the perpetrators of this violence against the women were mostly spouses and intimate partners.
In her submission, the Coordinator, Spotlight Initiative Lagos, Foluke Omoworare said violence was rarely an isolated incident and majority of children surveyed experienced violence in the home.
Continuing, she said the most affected are women and girls with disabilities who are twice likely to experience violence of any form.
Speaking, an Assistant Director, Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs Olasunbo Daniel who also raised concern over cases of violence against women and girls said, the child protection unit has attended to 455 cases of child protection concerns in the last one year.
According to her, the state has activated a surveillance response team into local governments in the state, Imorodu and Yaba, to escalate the reporting of gender-based violence cases in the grassroots to authorities for proper management of the issues.
Earlier, the Chief of Operations, UNICEF Lagos, Muhammad Okorie said violence against women was a global issue, adding that, the trend was threatening women’s achievement of their full potential.
” Before 25 years, a girl must have been violated either sexually or physically. If we do not end violence against women, we can reduce it to the nearest minimum.”
He said the 4 day training for journalists was to ensure that the country ends violence against women and girls..
”The media has a vintage position to reach a larger audience since they have more access through their report to speak to stakeholders.”
On his part, the Director, National Orientation Agency, Lagos, Mr Waheed Ishola said the media dialogue was to beam the spotlight on women and girls as well as address the negative socio-cultural norms attached to reporting cases of violence.
Ishola identified some of the perceived reasons for prevalence of abuse of women and girls to include, poverty, indecent dressing among adolescent girls, missing parental care, quest for money, fame and political position by women.
Others he listed are, neglect of family values, inability of men to manage their home, illicit drug/substance abuse, ritualistic purposes, fear of stigmatization.