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‘A lot can be done to support women in violent situations’

The convener of a non-governmental organization, Mind Yourself Mental Health Initiative, Ms Nguumbur Oritsejafor, has called for more support for women in violent situations across…

The convener of a non-governmental organization, Mind Yourself Mental Health Initiative, Ms Nguumbur Oritsejafor, has called for more support for women in violent situations across the country.

She made the call Tuesday in Abuja while addressing journalists on the sidelines of a two-day event organized to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with the theme, ‘Why Do Women stay?’.

According to her, the programme was put together to enable experts from various fields to brainstorm and proffer solutions to gender-based violence.

“There is a lot that can be done to support women in violent situations. Why do women stay is a question that nobody will ever have all the answers to. Why did she stay? Why did she stay? Why didn’t she leave? Why didn’t she at least run away for two months?”

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“Everybody in the churches, schools, workplaces, homes and mosques amongst others need to know that it’s a real situation that that person is in and provide the support that they need, whether it’s mental or physical, people should not be afraid to help out. Even if it means talking to the people that do the beating. Some people need mental health assistance,” she said.

The Programmes Manager, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), Yemisi Nathaniel, said most women instead of speaking out remain in violent situations due to their norms and traditions.

“Norms and traditions are heavily weighed on some women. What will my family say? What will my church say? What will my religious group say? What will my mosque say? What will my pastor say? What will my Imam say? And you see them fighting with these decisions on their own, and also not talking to people in order for them to be counseled,” she said.

A pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Gbadebo Adeniyi, urged women to not only speak out against sexual and physical violence but also avoid triggering such acts by their actions.

“Once there is a trace of violence in a home, the woman or anybody involved should speak out,” he said.

A teacher at heritage academy, Abuja, Spencer Okorafor, said, “Women should be seen as human beings and be given opportunities to prove their worth. They should be given equal education opportunities to raise their status.”