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NHRC cautions Abia residents against gender-based violence

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By Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has cautioned against violence against women and girls in the country as it leads to psychological and physical trauma, and sometimes, death.

The coordinator of NHRC in Abia state, Mrs Uche Nwokocha, gave the warning during a road walk to mark “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” in Umuahia on Monday. She said that the sensitisation was aimed at educating the public on the implications of gender-based violence.

Nwokocha, a lawyer, described violence against women and girls as a “key global crisis, which knew no boundaries or class”.

According to her, gender-based violence takes many forms, including domestic violence, sexual violence, assault, child or forced marriage, female genital mutilation, harmful widowhood practices among others.

She said that the road walk was part of the 16 days of activism to curb gender based violence in the state and the nation.

Staff of the commission marched through the major streets with big banners that had bold inscriptions thus, “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence: Stop Violence Against Women”.

They shared flyers and pamphlets, while sensitising the people on how to stop gender-based violence.

The coordinator said that the activities commenced on November 25, being the International Day on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and would end on December 10, which was the International Human Rights Day.

Nwokocha said, “As part of the activities, we have already visited some radio stations, informing the public and sensitising them on how to eliminate violence against women and girls. 

“We also intend to meet with the Chief Judge of Abia, Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. We will also visit some schools to tell the children about  how to stop violence against women and girls”.

She said that they would also mobilise the youths from different parts of the state, where they would give them a take-home message from NHRC.

The coordinator called on anyone being oppressed, exploited or sexually molested to come to the commission’s office in Umuahia and lay complaints.

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