The Akwa Ibom State Government has said that it recorded 321 cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) between January and November 24, 2023.
According to the GBV data obtained from the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Response Department of the state’s Ministry of Justice, the age range of victims was between two and 65.
In the period under review, 170 cases of spousal battery, 20 cases of physical injury, 11 cases of harmful widowhood practices and 120 rape cases were recorded.
In her reaction, wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor and Chairperson, State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee, Pastor Patience Umo Eno, warned rapists, paedophiles and abusers to desist from the acts, saying they would not be tolerated.
While flagging off the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in the state during the weekend, Mrs Eno said that anyone found to be a rapist or shielding rapists and paedophiles would be made to face the full wrath of the law, and called on all hands to be on deck to rid the state of all forms of GBV.
She said, “Henceforth, it will not be business as usual. I am calling on our men to support this advocacy by saying no to rape and all forms of abuse against women and the girl child. Let’s put a stop to this menace.”
The first lady charged parents not to buckle under pressure, but demand and stand for justice on SGBV matters, noting that the state government through the GBV management committee had put in place measures to curb the ugly trend.
She explained that the “16 Days of Activism” was an advocacy designed to raise awareness on the alarming rate of rape and abuse, adding that, “No one should feign ignorance when the law catches up with him or her.”
The Secretary of the GBV Committee, Barr Emem Etteh, stated that the flag off walk for the 16 Days of Activism against GBV was a demonstration against GBV in the state and the world.