AKWA IBOM, Nigeria – The Akwa Ibom State Government said it has secured different jail terms for more than fifteen offenders of Gender Based Violence in the state.
The Commissioner of Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, announced this in Uyo during a one-day enlightenment campaign with the theme, “Fight against Gender Based Violence’.
According to her, “The ministry in 2018 established a Gender Based Violence prevention and Response centre with a toll free line number and desk officers to attend to Gender Based Violence, GBV survivors who call to report cases for intervention.
“In view of the foregoing, let me use this forum to announce to everyone that over fifteen (15) judgements had been secured in the Court and the offenders are serving different jail terms in prison”
Edet, who commended the governor for declaring zero tolerance to cultism and violence in the state, however identified complicity by some security agencies, and compromise by survivors as major challenge working against efforts to tackle the menace, which has become a global phenomenon.
She, therefore, called on parents, caregivers, teachers, school authorities, community and religious leaders, security agencies and well-meaning individuals to cooperate with her ministry in the fight to make the state violence free by speaking out.
“The greatest challenge to the fight against Gender Based Violence is complicity by some security agencies who release offenders without charging them to court, as well as compromise by survivors and their families who go behind to collect money from the perpetrators of the crime and settle out of court.
“The ministry seriously frowns at such acts because they make our efforts unfruitful and the ministry will continue to prosecute all those who connive with GBV culprits to abort the efforts of the state government in combating crime.
Speaking on “Sexual exploitation and abuse” Dr. Ukpong Udofia, director, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Uyo, pointed out that though both women and men experience gender based violence, but majority of the victims are women and girls.
“If one is sexually exploited and abused, please say something, speak out, silence is not an excuse, rather silence ensures further damage and breach of health which is wealth,” Udofia advised.