REPORTER: ALFRED AJAYI
The National Human Rights Commission, Anambra State (NHRC) says over 95% of complaints it receives are related to Sexual and Gender Based Violence, (SGBV).
To this end, it wants Nigerians to continue to invest in efforts geared towards curbing rising incidents of Sexual and Gender Based Violence, (SGBV), which is fast becoming a pandemic across the country.
The Coordinator, NHRC in Anambra State, Mr. Obinna Maduforo, gave the revelation while addressing journalists after a road show held in Awka, the state capital, as part of the 16 Day Activism on Elimination of Gender Based Violence, observed annually by governmental and non-governmental organizations working for the wellbeing of women and girls.
“Gender based violence is becoming a pandemic. This is why CSOs, NGOs and our own office, National Human Rights Commission observe the 16 day activism against gender based violence from November 25th to December 10th which is the International Human Rights Day.
“It has become an annual event because of the upsurge of violence against women and girls who are being abused on a daily basis. In this office, 95% to 98% of complaints we receive are GBV related. It is getting rampant and frightening by the day,” Mr. Maduforo said.
Explaining this year’s theme “Invest to prevent violence against women and girls,” Mr. Maduforo explained various ways Nigerians could invest in eliminating GBV, which is fast becoming a societal norm.
“At first, the word that will strike you is money. But when you use your phone to call that something evil is happening in your neighbourhood, that’s an investment. You take a defiled child to the police with your money, you have invested.
“You pay the hospital bill of the person who was abused, it’s an investment. You sponsor outreaches to schools for sensitization, that’s an investment.
“If you sponsor sensitization jingle on radio and television, that is an investment. Everybody has a role to play from the youngest to the oldest,” NHRC Coordinator said.
According to Mr. Maduforo, the road show was designed to further create awareness among citizens to increase their knowledge about SGBV and what to do when they see or witness it.
“Some weeks ago, a woman with her younger brother walked in here. Her husband of nine months used pestle to break her elbow. She came here with the elbow dangling with stitches. I thought she was a victim of a vehicle accident,” the NHRC Coordinator narrated.
According to Maduforo, further probing revealed that the woman was a victim of GBV.
“She said upon the 6th month of the marriage, she advised the husband that they should visit a fertility clinic to find out why she has been unable to conceive.
“The suggestion did not go down well with the man. So, he resorted to violence and used a pestle on the woman. In the process of using her hand to defend herself, the elbow was completely broken and disjointed.
“She went for surgery. She ended up with a permanently disfigured right hand.
“Our outcry to the world is that this must stop. We are asking everybody, when you see such an evil happening anywhere, don’t keep silent. Contact us and we shall take action,” the NHRC Coordinator promised.
EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU