Emmanuel Alfred

Victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence(SGBV) in Cross River State will witness a reduction in the despicable act as plans to set up the first Sexual Assault Response Centre (SARC) in the State are being concluded by the government.

The centre, according to reports which would be a situation room and a one shop with personnel and facilities that would aid in the fight against SGBV was approved by the State House of Assembly.

Speaking on the matter on Monday, December 5, 2022 during a sensitisation walk on the 16 Days of Activism in Calabar, Dr. Linda Ayade, Wife of the Cross River State Governor said the SARC became necessary to end SGBV.

She said although, there were different forms of violence perpetrated against women, sexual violence, especially against minors, fragile and even older women was becoming pervasive. “We come today to join our voices to say economic, physical and most importantly sexual violence which is becoming prevalent in our society today must stop.

“Anybody can be a victim of violence because it is gradually eating deep into the fabrics of the society, so we will continue to fight and by next year, our voices will be stronger and fiercer,” she said.

Similarly, Dr. Gertrude Njar, Special Adviser to the Governor on Women Affairs said using the 16 Days of Activism, they were encouraging everyone to get involved in the fight against GBV.

Njar maintained that by amplifying the voices of survivors and activists and supporting women’s organisations, they could reduce violence against women and girls and protect their rights.

“Femicide is the most extreme and lethal form of violence against women and perpetrators often walk free.

“In Nigeria, the cases are increasing by the day like the case of the gospel artist Osinachi Nwachukwu, so, this is an issue that must be addressed immediately as we continue to advocate on ending femicide,” she noted.
On her part, Ms Christiana Asikong, the Desk Officer, United Nations (UN)Women in Cross River said from the United Nation’s perspective, Cross River was doing well in its fight against GBV.

Asikong said they had moved to interior parts of the state like Becheve in Obanliku Local Government Area and other parts to end obnoxious practices like “money marriage.”

She however added that as they went around to popularise the state’s Violence Against Persons Prohibition, (VAPP) Law, for sustainability in the fight against GBV, a shelter was needed in the state to serve as safe haven for survivors.

The commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism for 2022 which runs from November 25 to December 10 has the theme “Unite! Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls.”


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