ARDA Development Communication Incorporated, a non-governmental organisation has said cases of sexual and gender-based violence will not stop if society keeps making excuses for the perpetrators.
Data Phido, the Executive Director of ARDA Development Communication Incorporated, who spoke at the unveiling of its toll-free line for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Lagos and Borno States, explained that focusing on the negative attitudes of victims of sexual violence is a support for perpetrators.
“Nigerians have a responsibility to stop SGBV. We need to re-orientate ourselves on how we think about this issue.
"Making excuses for perpetrators instead of punishing perpetrators won’t make it stop, when we focus on victims; asking what did you wear, and where/why did you go there, we are actually letting off the perpetrator and supporting them with our attention on negative things we think the victim has done to bring violence upon themselves.
“If somebody says to you ‘No’ when you make passes at them, you better believe them. Whether a male or female, don’t say he is playing hard to get.”
She also noted that bringing an end to SGBV is the duty of everyone.
Also speaking, the founder, Mirabel Centre, Itoro Eze-Anaba, explained that the government and private sectors should partner to bring perpetrators to book within a short frame and implement policies that would reduce SGBV in the country.
"Government should prosecute perpetrators immediately and the media should hold government accountable.
"There should also be a legal framework that protects the privacy of victims and survivors. Why can’t a case last just for a year?
"Police officers and everyone in charge of SGBV should be trained to disabuse themselves from the biases surrounding victims of SGBV and the government should also provide funding where needed.”
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