NGO advocates ‘massive reportage’ of sexual, gender based violence in FCT

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The Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls (AEIG), an NGO, has called for ‘massive reportage’ of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The group’s Executive Director, Mrs Abiodun Essiet, made the appeal while briefing journalists on its baseline study report on SGBV in the territory on Thursday in Abuja.

She said that primary and secondary data from a recently conducted study by the NGO revealed that various forms of SGBV were prevalent in Abuja but massively under reported.

Essiet said that the study focused on how traditional rulers handled SGBV and how many cases were reported from January 2020 to December 2021 in five out of the six area councils in the FCT.

According to her, the area councils studied are Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Bwari, Gwagwalada, Abaji and Kwali, while key informant interviews supplied the data.

The executive director said that findings from the study also revealed some gaps in the SGBV response in the FCT.

She added that, “The study revealed that there were disability insensitivity issues, as well as poor knowledge and adoption of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act standards among SGBV response points.

“Evidence also support urgent protection needed for persons with disability and traditional rulers are considered key to ending SGBV, especially in rural communities.

“There is need for more coordination across agencies and institutions responding to SGBV cases.

“It is also important for traditional and religious leaders to be trained on best ways of handling these cases and the need to improve surveillance around children.

“At least 44 per cent of SGBV cases are experienced by children who are usually incapable of reporting early,” she said.

The NGO director also stressed the need for government at the local, state and federal level, to take responsibility of making budgetary allocation to handle issues regarding SGBV.

She added that concerted efforts must be made to provide shelter for victims, as it would assist them in getting their lives back.

Yahaya Isah, the Chairman, Nigeria Association of Social Workers, FCT Chapter, said the capacity of traditional rulers must be strengthened to address SGBV cases in their communities.

He urged victims, parents and traditional rulers, as well as the SGBV response institutions to get acquainted with the VAPP Act to understand how to seek justice when such cases arose.