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Borno records 755 cases of GBV


Borno records 755 cases of GBV

By Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri

Learning Through the Skills Acquisition Initiative (LETSAI) in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported 755 cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Borno state.

The reported cases were identified by adopting “innovative voiceless communication” methods in various communities of the two Councils.

According to the Initiative, GBV comprises sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment of women, boys and girls.

Read Also: Armed Forces Remembrance Day: Army Organises Civic Activities In Borno

LETSAI is supported by UNICEF and funded by the Government of Germany and the United Nations Central Emergency Fund.

Unveiling the reported cases, over the weekend (Saturday), at a news conference in Maiduguri, LETSAI’s Consultant, Susan Tanwie disclosed that; “We signed a partnership in March 2022 with UNICEF to increase access to comprehensive and gender-responsive services for children and survivors of GBV in the Northeast.

“The survivors will also access comprehensive multi-sectorial and life-saving GBV services aligned to the inter-agency standing committee and the United Nations victim assistance framework.”

The 13-year conflict has killed about 40, 000 people with the destruction of property worth $9.2 billion (N4.241 trillion) in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

She, therefore, lamented that survivors of GBV, particularly women have found themselves where they cannot report abuse by talking, especially when the perpetrators are in the communities.

Besides, she added that the innovative Voiceless Reporting Mechanism (IVRM) addresses GBV with three key sign languages.

“The sign language makes it easier for victims of GBV to report abuse and seek help,” she said.

Continued: “The test-run research on the voiceless messages conducted in the two councils; revealed 755 participants reported cases of GBV through the voiceless reporting methods.

“The reported cases include intimate partner violence, rape, sexual harassment, denial of resources and physical abuse,” adding that; the GBV cases were revealed between January 2020 and December last year.

Speaking on the voiceless messaging methods, she said: “We adopted three different signs comprising first, an okay response shown with the thumb up.

“This specific sign is used by the survivor to confirm the response of GBV.”

Susan added that the second sign is the pointing of an index finger sign by either the reporter or the staff of LETSAI to confirm if the perpetrator is close by to the reporter of violence.

Continued: “While the tapping sign of the index and the thumb, signifies danger,” noting that the faster the tapping of the index finger and thumb, the more severe the situation of the reporter of GBV.

She, therefore, declared that this sign is only used by the survivor or reporter of gender-based violence.

Besides, she added that slow taps between the index and thumb fingers signify a threat but no danger to the victim.

She said cases of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment are usually reported for investigation using this method and/or other reporting methods including phone calls or emails.

“The continuous tapping signifies an emergency and the survivor will need to be rescued immediately,” she warned, adding that their lives may be in danger.

Susan declared that to continue to fight GBV, the Initiative is to partner with the media, relevant government agencies, national and international partners and stakeholders.

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