By Ade Olu
The National Human Rights Commission, Anambra State, NHRC, says over 95% of complaints it receives are related to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, SGBV.
The Coordinator NHRC in Anambra State, Obinna Maduforo, gave the revelation during a roadshow 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 in the area of women and girls.
He called on Nigerians to join in the efforts to curb incidents of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, SGBV, which he noted has become a pandemic across the country.
“Gender-based violence is becoming a pandemic. This is why CSOs, NGOs and our own office, the National Human Rights Commission, observe the 16-day activism against gender-based violence from November 25th to December 10th, which is International Human Rights Day,” he said.
“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.”
Maduforo explained this year’s theme, which is “Invest to prevent violence against women and girls. 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 the 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 him, the roadshow 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 a pestle to break her elbow. She came here with the elbow dangling with stitches. I thought she was a victim of a vehicle accident. She said upon the sixth month of the marriage; she advised the husband that they should visit a fertility clinic to find out why she had been unable to conceive”
He added, “The suggestion did not go down well with the man. So, he resulted in 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.”
The coordinator enjoined all individuals to contact the commission or other law enforcement agency when they see cases of SGV.