By Nnaji Emmanuel
Sequence to the alarming rate of Rape, Sexual and Gender Based Violence(SGBV) and other social vices against women and children in Nigeria, the National Human Rights Commission in Ebonyi state in collaboration with her partnering Civil Society Organizations, has aggressively embarked on war to put an end to such, as they on Monday kicked off a one week activism, declaring zero tolerance to those vices.
The Commission through the State Coordinator, Dr. Okorie Christopher, condemned Rape as he noted that the rights of the victims are simply violated.
He attributed the ugly practices to lack of cooperation on the part of the victims or relatives, harmful cultural practices, ignorance, corruption, among other challenges.
According to Dr. Okorie, “the National Human Rights Commission Nationwide and in particular, Ebonyi State Office, in collaboration with her partnering Civil Society Organizations here in Ebonyi State namely:
HURIDE, CPN and HRCR, etc have embarked on a one week of Activism to declare ZERO TOLERANCE against rape and all forms of gender based violence in Ebonyi state.
“The rate of proven incidences of rape and gender based violence have reached an unprecedented geometric proportion Nationwide. One wonders if this ugly situation has always been perpetrated in the magnitude as it is notice today but underreported or there is actual spike number in the number of incidences.
“One thing that is evident is that Rape and all forms of Gender Based Violence no matter the magnitude unfortunately still happen and violate the rights of affected individuals, Rape and all forms of Gender Based Violence are condemnable, criminal and punishable according to the laws of the land.
“Some victims and Relatives of Rape Victims and Gender Based Violence after they report such cases, back off and abandon the case in such a manner that it becomes difficult to hold the violator accountable for the purpose of deterrence to others, correction and possible redress to the violated.
“Some of our cultural practices objectify the body and entire being of the woman so much so that the woman is seen as the property of the man. This objectification is part of the underlying negative motivation for violations of the humans as sex objects and/or beast of burden/labour.
“Sometimes Rape and Gender Based Violence continue because victims lack knowledge of where to seek help and immediate intervention from.
“Corruption among few unscrupulous elements among the law enforcement agents who through high profile or subtle financial extortion, discourage victims of rape from pursuing their cases to logical conclusion.
NHRC requests all law enforcement agencies to continue to educate their officers to the fact that services to the public are free and should not be seen as such.
Respectively, the state Chairman, Human Rights Defenders and Liberty Access, Mr. Samson Nweke; the state Coordinator, Child Protection Network, Chief(Mrs) Flora Egwu; the Executive Director, Education Today for Sustainable Development Initiative; among other CSOs members, enjoined all hands to be on deck in order to attain the desired goal in curbing the menace.