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FG to establish special courts for SGBV cases

Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen at a media briefing, in Abuja. Photo: Azizatu Sani

The Federal Government is to establish special courts to prosecute cases of sexual and gender-based violence, GBV and ensure quick dispensation of justice for victims and survivors.

The Minister of Women Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen, made this known in Abuja at a media briefing as part of events to commemorate the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence with the theme: “Orange the world: end violence against women now!”

Dame Tallen said with intense advocacy, many survivors of rape and gender-based violence had made the violation of their rights public and were seeking legal and judicial assistance. However, the lack of survivor-sensitive approaches in court was a major challenge, she observed.

According to the minister, the limited number of courts compared to the large volume of cases, geographical distance to nearest court, language used in courts, and rising cases of secondary victimization, had contributed to lack of confidence in the criminal justice system by women who are subjected to violence.

She said: “From available statistics from the National Situation Room and Dashboard as of yesterday 24th November 2021, the total number of cases reported is 5,204 of which 3,125 survivors are demanding justice and only 33 perpetrators have so far been convicted, representing 0.51%.”

She added that “the fatal cases are 160, closed cases 231, while cases pending in court are 972.”

Dame Tallen said her ministry, in collaboration with the Judiciary in an effort to get justice for the survivors of GBV, has initiated the process of establishing special courts for these vulnerable groups.

According to her, the ministry will continue to push until it achieves the desired goal of getting legislative backing for the punishment of perpetrators.

Reporting by Azizatu Sani; editing by Abdullahi Lamino