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Group raises alarm over rising rape cases in Ebonyi

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 By Ruth Oginyi

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ebonyi State Chapter yesterday raised the alarm that Ebonyi state has recorded over 40 cases of rape within this year 2021.

FIDA Chairperson in the State, Grace Chima made this known, during the official launching of momentum country and global leadership project sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital 

The Chairperson in her submission during the event explained that the suspects have all been arrested by FIDA and prosecuted through the help of Police and other security agencies in the state.

Chima lamented that rape and other forms of gender-based violence have been on the increase in the State with men becoming more casualties.

 “Gender-Based Violence is actually on the increase in our society. We have reordered several cases of rape, spousal battery. Even men have become victims of spousal battery but the truth of the matter is that when you talk of Gender-Based Violence, children and women are always prominently mentioned.

“And so, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that Gender-Based Violence is brought to an end. I want to stand here to state authoritatively that the Violence against Persons Prohibition Law of the State has been a very good instrument in our hands to ensure that victims get justice. When you go to conferences outside the state, you will be shocked that out of the 36 states of Nigeria, only about 11 states have domesticated VAPP law.”

She continued, “This year, we FIDA in collaboration with security agents have arrested over 40 cases of rape, we have the records and not just arresting them, we ensure that investigation is thoroughly done and we take them to court”.

Also speaking, the State’s Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Chinwe Okah described Gender-Based Violence as the most pervasive and yet least visible human rights violations in the world.

She noted that the act which takes numerous forms like intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation, trafficking for sexual exploitation, female infanticide, and ‘honor crimes are common, with intimate partner violence occurring at staggering rates in every country.

“In Nigeria, acts of violence against women and girls cut across religion, social class, and ethnic groups. The intimate Partner Violence prevalence rate is 33.1% and has been identified as one of the most pervasive forms of Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria.

“With today’s official launch, stakeholders decision-makers, and all concerned Ebonyians that are relevant in changing the narratives, addressing and responding to the issues of gender-based violence in Ebonyi are called to address the drivers of this menace and expand access of services to survivors”, she added.

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