Gombe govt. to provide legal, psychosocial support for victims of GBV
The Gombe State government on Thursday said it would provide legal and psychosocial support to help victims of gender-based violence survive and recover from such trauma.
Mrs Naomi Awak, the Gombe State Commissioner for Women and Social Development, said this during a press conference in Gombe.
The press conference, which was part of the activities lined up to mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence was with the theme: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”
Awak stated that the event was key as it highlighted issues around
women’s rights while serving as a platform to call for the prevention and elimination of all types of violence against women and girls.
According to her, cases of gender-based violence are increasing at an alarming rate across the globe as such there is the need for society to stand up against violence against women and girls.
She stated that women and girls who had been violated needed support to help them survive and recover from such violence.
“We must prevent violence. And until we end it, we must provide everything women and girls need to survive and recover from physical and mental healthcare to legal aid and support to ensure they regain their livelihoods,” said Awak.
She added that women would also be trained as a way of empowering them economically as this would help them make informed choices on matters that affected them in society.
She stated that as part of the activities for the 16-day event, officials from her ministry would visit the correctional centre to “seek and pay up fines of female inmates with lesser fines.”
She called on citizens of Gombe State to stand up against every form of gender-based violence in the state.
On his part, Mr Ndam Fabong, the Principal Administration Officer, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Gombe State, appealed to residents to always report cases of violence to the commission.
Fabong stated that it was “absolutely free” as no one was expected to pay for any case to be worked on by the commission and any staff who requested money from victims should be reported for appropriate sanctions.
According to him, the commission has so far 2021 received 36 cases of rape and 27 of such cases have been treated while 9 are still ongoing.
He added that for physical assault or wife battering, 40 cases were reported while 60 cases of child abandonment were also reported with 40 addressed, while the remaining 20 are ongoing.
Fabong stated that the commission provided judicial and humanitarian processes in handling cases, hence he urged residents to feel free to approach the commission to report any case of violence against women and girls.
Also speaking in an interview, Nwalin Abdu, secretary, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Gombe State chapter, said over 35 cases of violence had been reported and were being addressed by FIDA.
Abdu said there was no justification for any type of violence, and urged Nigerians to desist from abusing women’s rights.
He added that every woman and girl had the right to feel free and secure.
She called on the state government to domesticate the Violence Against Person’s Prohibition Act (VAPP), that it would help protect the rights of women and girls better.