Reprieve will soon come the way of gender-based violence or GBV survivors in Ebonyi State as the United States Agency for International Development-Momentum Country and Global Leadership Project or USAID-MCGL has handed over a safe space to the state government.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony held in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, Dave Umahi, the Ebonyi State Governor expressed satisfaction over the standard and commitments by partners, and promised proper use of the centre.
Umahi, who was represented by Kenneth Ugbala, the Secretary to the State Government said “We want to assure you of proper utilisation of the centre and particularly for the purpose it was meant for and also continue to contribute our quota.”
The governor commended all the partners including, USAID, MCGL, Jhpiego, and the state Ministry of Women Affairs, among others for their role in the actualization of the center.
Also speaking, Chioma Oduenyi, the project director, USAID-MCGL, stated that the facility would give survivors of GBV, space to recuperate and be reintegrated into society, adding that the establishment would help to reduce dangers and prevent further harm to survivors who are at risk of immediate danger from their perpetrators.
Her words, “Since 2021, the USAID-MCGL, a five-year project, has been working with the state government through health, women affairs ministries and indigenous non-governmental partners to implement a robust GBV prevention and response activity,”said Oduenyi.
On her part, Deborah Okah, The Commissioner for Women Affairs, said the centre will offer professional counselling and rehabilitation to victims of GBV, while working towards their smooth reintegration into the society.
“With the existence of the shelter, survivors will be more encouraged to report violence cases and be safe.
“We are determined in the fight against any forms of violence meted out to women and girls in the state,” Mrs Okah assured.
From January to December 2022, Ebonyi State recorded 202 GBV cases, according to the Ebonyi State Coordinator of Gender Based Violence Task Force.