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GBV: Group gives free legal, medical clinic to women in Anambra

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta & Lawrence Nwimo

A non-governmental and advocacy group, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) has, Wednesday, gifted women in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra state, a free legal and medical clinic.

The clinic is a RoLAC programme under the European Union funded project, implemented by the British Council in Nigeria.

It came as part of the campaign for discontinuation of harmful traditional practices to women folks as well as campaign against rape and sexual harassment of women in the state.

However, personnel from the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Ntasi, Enugw-Ukwu, seized the opportunity to administer free medical treatment to victims of sexual harassment, while RoLAC legal advisory team delivered free legal clinic to the residents of the area.

Speaking at the one-day programme, the Executive Director at Victorian Clarion Foundation (VICLAF), Uju Onyedilifo said the free legal and medical clinic was to create awareness on the implications of some inhumane practices against women which is prevalent in the society.

She appealed to the community leaders to support the move aimed at eliminating negative practices against women and institute a sustainable structure that would ensure healthier development of women.

Also, RoLAC programme consultant and Director, Women in Governance Network (IWIG-N) known as IDIKACHO, Prof Mercy Anagbogu, maintained that good number of women in the society lack knowledge of legal solutions to some inhumane treatments in the society. “We use the legal clinic to educate the women on their rights as enshrined in the Anambra State VAPP law”.

She also said the group, through the open sensitization, mobilized partners in the community to report gender-based cases especially when people tend to experience difficulty in reaching to SARC provided to handle such cases.

Contributing, Dr. Uchenndu Benedeth from Sexual Assault Referral Center, Ntasi, at Enugwu-Ukwu General Hospital, informed the participants of the services rendered at the centre, especially in managing rape and sexually assaulted victims.

Additionally, Ilona Chinenye, a counsellor at the Ntasi referral centre, said the the work of the centre was not restricted to rape victims but also women facing all manner of home violence. She said violence against a person’s will was a crime that should be expunged in every aspect of human life.

Lending her voice, a victim of female circumcision who refused her name in print recounted the severe effects of the practice to include difficulty of child birth, constipation, urinary tract infection, loss of sexual urge, among others.

Earlier, the Coordinator, Legal Aid Committee, Nkolika Ebede, while speaking on the VAPP law, harped on certain provisions of the law, such as – forceful ejection, domestic violence, sexual abuses and female organ mutilation and urged the participants to shun such practices so as not to attract wrath of the law.

In their separate reactions, the Chairman of Ozubulu market committee, Hon. Augustine Obi and Comrade Donatus Ndubuizu, acknowledged that sexual harassment of women should be stopped in society. They vowed to contribute their quota in sustaining the awareness of gender safe society. They equally cautioned youths against use of hard drugs and indecent dressing, stressing that both were contributory factors to the continued cases of rape in society.

Orient Daily reports that high point of the programme was the free medical exermination, counselling and treatment of victims of rape, sexual harassment, and other gender-based violence in the community.

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