By Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Over 10,000 children and women from, 2010 to 2016 have experienced gender-based violence from homes, society, and work places on social media.
Investigations by Islamic Counselling Initiatives of Nigeria (ICIN ) shows that, this victims are of post-conflict trauma, which it says about 3,500 women, girls and children were recorded by ICIN in 2017.
Executive Director ICIN, Fatima Suleiman, gave the statistics, while paying a courtesy call on Women Journalists, popularly known as NAWOJ, in plateau state, at the NUJ Press Center.
She observed that, they have been victims of post-conflict issues of mass atrocities, rape, kidnapping, slave trade, and domestic violence, which were reported in the Divisional Police Station, in Wase, Kanam, Jos North, Riyom and Baraki-Ladi local government councils of the State.
According to her, about 500 are from the rural areas in parts of the northern and southern plateau, with no access to justice when reported.
While expressing worries that women and child abuse have been on the increase, she said ten (10) cases of rape of minors are being reported every week, especially from 1-6 years old.
She said, ICIN believes that, innovative approach like sports as a medium to reduce GBV and collaborative campaign against gender-based violence will serve as a forum to influence policy change in promoting policies that would punish offenders – like VAPP bill.
She was on a courtesy call to NAWOJ to collaborate and initiate a partnership to promoting the rights of the women and marginalized groups and children; because this will go a long way in giving women and children the much needed support development.
Hajiya Fatima Suleiman explained further that, their collaboration and partnership with NAWOJ would build and strengthen concern institutions for service delivery.
She explained that the Islamic Counselling Initiatives is a non-profit, interfaith community-based organization, situated in Jos North; it is a registered organization, and operates in Plateau and parts of Adamawa and Nasarawa States.
She maintained ICIN promotes women and child’s rights, women education, water and sanitation, health initiatives (malaria and cholera campaign), and builds capacities of groups in the area of peace building, civic education, economic growth and good governance.
In responding, the NAWOJ chairman in the State, Mrs Jennifer Yerima, appreciated the organization for identifying with them, “which shows that you have face of belonging.”
She said, “it has a lot in stock for the people, the target of which is to better their lives, especially those, who don’t have a sense of belonging, and to also better our living in the society.”
According to her, “I think our mandate and yours are almost the same; but in our own case, we give voice to the voiceless, we encourage people to speak out, because some people have been abused and are seen keeping quite.
“They felt it’s already part of them, and have embraced it as a culture that must come to stay with them. But we are disabusing the minds of so many to say no; say it the way it is.”