A total of 175 rape cases have been recorded in Niger State between January 2021 and July this year.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Secretary of the Gender Based Violence Management Committee in the state, Hajiya Kaltum Dauda Rufai, made this known at a one-day anti-gender based violence close out workshop organised with the support from the Nigeria Academy of Letters in Minna on Tuesday.
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She said out of 77 prosecutions, only 8 convictions had been recorded while 60 cases were still under trial.
Rufai added that within the period, 65 cases of husband and wife battering, 67 cases of street hawking, 21 cases of forced marriage and 3, 500 cases of withdrawal of children had been recorded.
She said part of the success of the committee included the dethronement of a traditional ruler by the emir of Minna for forceful marriage in his domain.
The permanent secretary said poverty had also exposed many out-of-school children in the state to molestations and other forms of abuse, calling for continuous support from stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders on sensitisation against Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Also speaking, Mrs Anne C. Nwakpudav of Rayuwa Sexual Assault Referral Centre said 37 GBV cases were received in January this year alone in the state.
Citing data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the wife of the Niger State governor and chairperson of the Anti-Gender Based Violence Management Committee, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello, said three in every 10 women in Nigeria had experienced physical violence by the age of 15.
She advocated the enactment of laws against GBV, adding that referral centres would be established in all the 22 general hospitals in the state to address the issue of rape and other abuses.