The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and a non-governmental organization, Tabitha Cumi Foundation have called for increased awareness of the importance of gathering evidence after any form of violence occurs, in order to aid in the prosecution of Gender Based Violence (GBV).
FIDA made the call in Abuja as part of events to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women and girls and the 16 days of activism to end Gender Based Violence, with a theme: “Unite! Activism to end Violence against Women and Girls”.
The Chairperson FIDA Abuja branch, Ms. Chibuzor Nwosu stressed the need for more enlightenment especially the importance of preserving evidence to ensure perpetrators of GBV are prosecuted.
She said the FCT judiciary recently signed the new Judiciary Practice direction to tackle and accelerate the prosecution of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
The Executive Director of Tabitha Cumi Foundation, Mrs. Tayo Erinle, pointed out that facilitators have been trained at the community level on how to prevent, respond and refer GBV cases as the action taken at the time of violation was fundamental to determining the outcome of the case.
”We have done a lot of sensitizations in that regard even in the communities to tell mothers that when a girl comes to say that she has been violated, don’t start cleaning her up, take her to the primary health care centre because you will wash away the evidence”, Mrs. Erinle said.
The Chief of Idu Community, Alhaji Mohammed Bawa reiterated the commitment of traditional leaders to ending gender-based violence at the community level through household engagement and sensitization.
The event, organized under Flashlight Actions on Girls Safety (FLAGS) project funded by UN Trust Fund and implemented by the Tabitha Cumi foundation, is to encourage stakeholders to make their commitments and pledges to end all forms of Gender Based violence.
Reporting by Azizatu Sani; Editing by Marian Benjamin and Annabel Nwachukwu