Sexual Offences Awareness and Response initiative, a non-governmental organisation, says it is set to mobilise communities to end sexual violence against girls in Benue.
The Mrs Chinyere Eyoh, the Executive Director of the organisation, said this in a one day consultative forum with stakeholders in Benue on how to end sexual based violence against girls.
Mrs Chinyere said that from the statistic, “Benue seems to be the highest in sexual violence which is why the initiative is in the state to work with relevant stakeholders to curb the trend”.
She further said that in 2017, the organisation conceptualised its community-based strategy where it could go into communities and strengthen structures that would enlighten the people on what sexual violence is.
“Some of this communities don’t see sexual violence as a crime, the families instead come together to settle among themselves and the perpetrator goes free with prosecution.
“The initiative is meant to give voice to those girls that can’t speak out when they are violated, especially in the communities, the girls should have the right to stand up for herself and speak out,” Chinyere said.
She also said that the main objectives of the initiative “is to advocate against abuse of children, to also work with stakeholders and provide care and support to survivors of Sexual abuse”.
Also speaking, Comfort Ayua, the Programme Assistant of the initiative, said that the project wass to address sexual violence and also look into the root cause of the trend.
Comfort further said that the project would focus on Uipkam and Logo in Guma Local Government Area and Anyi Local Government Area, respectively.
Mr Amokaha Paul, a representative of State Child Right Implementation Committee, said that there should be constant review of the child right and implementation should be done so that the child should have the right to speak out.
Also, Mr Uzua Amos, the Chairman Child Protection Network, said that the forum was established to monitor and respond to child violence in the state.
Sharing similar sentiments, Mrs Beatrice Shomkegh from UNHCR said that sexual violence had become a major trend, especially in the IDP camps.
The meeting had in attendance major government and civil society organisation as relevant stakeholders.