Over the past nine months, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has received 4,000 complaints from victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Nigeria.
This was made known in the Commission’s report delivered at a high-level stakeholders’ mandate and commitment meeting in Abuja.
In the report, the Commission outlined the steps it has taken in attempts at addressing the problem of rape and SGBV in the country. Tony Ojukwu (Esq.), NHRC’s Executive Secretary via the report further noted that the Commission, through the Presidential Panel on SGBV, successfully resolved 230 cases.
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Ojukwu said, “The Emergency Communications Centre, through the 112-toll free number for reporting SGBV and other human rights abuses, has recorded 4,000 calls since it started operation under nine months ago. Also, the Presidential Panel of Investigation on SGBV has had two rounds of sittings across different states of the Federation to consider over 230 cases with success stories.”
Ms. Ndi Kato, Executive Director of the Dinidari Foundation, added that sexual violence victims have a low proportion of reporting despite the high incidence of SGBV in the country and its consequences for victims.
“Only 32 percent of women who have been victims of violence sought help, and help was mainly sought through victims own family. This is the result of prevailing cultural norms that discourage reportage as well as shortcomings in the justice framework. The informal means of seeking through family and community heads dampen SGBV response outlook in Nigeria”, she said.
“Nigeria needs to do better in collaboration towards response to sexual and gender-based violence in our society. For this reason, we acknowledge that our society respects our traditional and religious institutions. So, on the fight against SGBV, we must also work hand-in-hand with leaders who represent these institutions,” Ms. Kato added.
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