The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) has urged the federal government to ensure maximum sanction for perpetrators of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) to stem the rising cases of rape and other SGBVs in the country.
Senior Project Officer for WRAPA, Dinma Nwanye, made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at a technical session on contextual challenges and existing opportunities for survivors of SGBV under the project Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).
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The meeting with the theme: “Moving from rhetoric to action,” was held with faith and culture leaders supporting VAWG accountability.
She also urged communities to participate actively in curbing SGBV against women and girls.
She said that as long as the menace of violence against women and girls continues, campaigns against the act will not cease until adequate measures are in place and swift actions taken against perpetrators of the act.
“We are never going to stop talking about it, we will keep amplifying voices for survivors to open up and talk about it. The reason why we are hearing more about it, is because individuals and organizations like WRAPA and other civil society organizations (CSOs) are putting in efforts so that survivors of violence against women and girls can come out and say the trauma they are going through.
“Efforts are being put in place to ensure that accountability demands are extracted from perpetrators. So as long as the menace remains, we will continue to speak about it until there is an end to the menace.
“Going forward, we need to put measures in place to cushion these happenings. One way is through WRAPA’s project on violence against women and girls accountability project. And the project is moving from rhetoric to action,” she said.
She also said that communities need to be engaged in ensuring that there is adequate information relayed to the government agencies to ensure quick response to any form of violence against women and girls.
On the domestication of the Violence Against Persons (VAP) Act, Nwanye said, “We would put pressure on states who are yet to domesticate the Act but beyond domesticating it, there is also the need for implementation.”
Also, the Director Abuja Metro Office, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Aisha Kaltungo, commended the federal government for its efforts in dealing with perpetrators of violence against women and girls.
She, however, called for more intervention and grassroots engagement to tackle the menace.
Kaltungo said, “Even though the government is doing a lot of intervention, there is still need for improvement because the cases are still there.
“These issue of violence against girls boils down to the grassroots, it has to do with individuals and communities that are involved. Because of lack of sanction against the perpetrators to show them as examples is a major problem.
“If the people at the grassroots can be empowered more of their efforts will be felt and it will definitely compliment whatever the government is and will be doing to curb the issue of violence against girls.”