Gender-Based Violence: Oyo Records 692 Cases

…scale-up prosecution of offenders
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Rape (illustration image)

Between March 2020 and February 2021, the State Rapid Response Team on Gender-Based Violence recorded 692 cases, with the highest number of physical assault, rape, and child labor cases reported.

Gender-based abuse can no longer be viewed as a child's play in Oyo State, according to the study, as the government has agreed to use the law to prosecute perpetrators.

The team, which is part of the State's Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, also documented cases of abandonment, defilement, attempted rape, rescued, and intimate partners abuse, with the majority of the victims being female, with 418 survivors aged 0 to 17 years old out of 692 cases registered.

Mr. Marcus Williams, Chairman of the Committee, said there was a need to respond to the plights of girl – child and women on time as they seemed to be the most vulnerable to gender-based violence in the society while presenting the report of activities on behalf of the Rapid Response Team in the last one year of its inauguration at the Ministry's Conference room over the weekend in Ibadan.

He clarified that the majority of the cases recorded occurred in rural areas, necessitating collaboration with community leaders and sensitizing them on their roles in reducing shameful actions and ensuring that parents play active roles in providing both formal and informal education for their children, as well as the society's function of positive modeling.

Although praising the State government's efforts and assistance to the committee, Williams noted that the Rapid Response Team did not only rescue the survivors on their own, but also helped them and brought each case to a successful conclusion.

Earlier, the State Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Christiana Abioye, thanked the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration for the support given to the team to perform optimally, and also recognized the team's efforts, dedication to duty, and selfless service.

She urged them not to give up and to be more holistic and thorough in their handling of all reported cases, without hesitating to use the requisite enabling laws in doing so.

“We have laws on ground against perpetrators, and we will ensure that necessary actions and punishments are meted out to them.

She urged people to remain alert and express their concerns, emphasizing that combating the threat is a shared responsibility.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Rapid Response Team on Gender-Based Violence was formed on March 5, 2020, with relevant stakeholders drawn from government ministries, agencies, non-governmental organizations, and law enforcement agencies, among others, and they were tasked with curbing violence and halting the spread of gender-based violence by rescuing victims.