A non-governmental organisation, Women’s Right Advancement Protection Alternative (WRAPA) has called for the need to popularise the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) at the grassroot to make Nigerians aware of ways to identify and seek redress when gender-based violence occur.
State Project Officer, Spotlight Initiative Project, WRAPA, Precious Anslem made the call at Kabusa community in the FCT during a sensitisation outreach programme on the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030 sponsored by the EU spotlight initiative and implemented by the Rock of Ages Empowerment Foundation.
He explained that it was important to make women at the grassroot understand the rudiments of gender-based violence through consistent sensitisation to ensure both women and men understand their rights.
“Sensitisation is just letting them know that you are a human being and nobody has the right to beat you and anybody that is beating you, you can fight it, there are laws in place and there are organisations that are willing to stand behind you”, he said.
Programme Officer, Rock of Ages foundation, Ms Theresa Ezoma revealed that the lack of knowledge on the extent of sexual and gender-based violence made it necessary to carryout community sensitisation to encourage women, men and girls to speak out.
“When they say violence against women, some people don’t even know that when you beat up your wife or somebody’s wife, they don’t know that it is an abuse, they feel is just a normal issue of life. so when we started sensitising people about GBV they were really wowed about it that they didn’t know that these are issues that need attention” she said.
The Etsu Kabusa, Mr Samuel Kpowu acknowledge the rate of gender-based violence in the community and advised Nigerians not to see the opposite sex as objects but as human beings deserving of love and care in the society.
Some of the women in Kabusa community expressed satisfaction after knowing the different forms of violence, and pledged to report sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated in their community.
The event also featured on the side-line, eye screening, the distribution of eye glasses and medication to community members in attendance.
Reporting by Azizatu Sani; Editing by Muzha Kucha