About 335 persons have experienced different forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the first four months of 2022 across Nigeria.
The 335 victims experience different types of violence: sexual abuse, physical abuse, and spousal abuse between Jan. and April 2022.
While the Northeast and Southeast regions have the lowest report on SGBV, the other zones have high records of SGBV.
Leading the geopolitical zones in the reports of SGBV so far in 2022 is the Northwest with 266 persons, followed by the South-south with 50 persons, Southwest with 12, Southeast with four, and North-central, three. However, only the Northeast recorded one incident.
Gender-based violence is a phenomenon that stems from gender inequality and remains one of the most serious human rights violations in all nations. “Gender-based violence is violence directed against a person because of their gender. Both women and men experience gender-based violence but the majority of victims are women and girls,” exlains the European Institute for Gender Equality.
HumAngle collated the cases in review from media reports. Thus, unreported cases are excluded from this number.
Below are the recorded cases.
Shehu Abdullahi, the commission’s Coordinator, said 52 complaints were received in January, 153 in February and 85 in March.
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) said over 50 cases of teachers defiling their students had been reported and charged to court in Rivers state, South-south Nigeria.
Some of the cases were recorded in Ahoada, Elelenwo and Rumuokuta areas of the state.
Nuwel Ajagu, 40, allegedly defiled the teenage daughter of his brother in the Ikorodu area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
Oluwabamise Ayanwola, 22, was declared missing on Feb. 26, 2022, after boarding a Bus Rapid Transit vehicle from the Ajah area of Lagos to Oshodi, Southwest Nigeria and whose body was later found by the police with her private cut out.
A 15-year-old student of Government Technical College, Ikorodu area of Lagos state, Southwest Nigeria, revealed how one of her teachers, Adefemi Adewunmi, raped her in a hotel and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.
A 15-year-old girl was raped during a robbery in Kubwa, a satellite town of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.The Federal Capital Territory Police Command also arrested Patrick Odey, for the rape of a 21-year-old sales girl.
Aisha Umar, a female Internally Displaced Person (IDP) in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria, was reported dead after allegedly being raped by an official of an International Non-Governmental Organisation (iNGO).
Busola Ajibola, a gender equality advocate, said it is important to identify the indicators fueling SGBV in society.
“We need to get our justice system functional, from the police to the court. I also think adopting a name and shame system like Lagos state and Ekiti state will deter the criminals. We need to put more pressure on the judges that are overseeing SGBV cases. Maybe we can also pressure those police stations where the cases are reported and also make them know that the public is aware and the media are involved.”
Meanwhile, Ebenezer Omejiale the coordinator of Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network, said the high rate of SGBV across the country is a complex situation.
“So the peculiarity of family influence, community influence from that of the local chiefs, lawyers truncates the judiciary system. The community wants to set it up for selfish reasons and those perpetrators grow to become weapons because they’ve not faced justice so they go ahead and abuse other children,” he said.
He added that there is a need to end all the external influences that truncate victims from getting justice.
HumAngle reported how Nigeria was placed 139th out of 153 nations in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index for 2021, the lowest level since 2006.
One of the ways of curbing SGBV menace in Nigeria is domesticating the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015, which aims to eliminate all forms of violence in both the private and public spheres—and includes the right to housing and other social assistance for victims of violence.
Till date, the law is still struggling to be domesticated in 17 states, majority of which are in the northern region of Nigeria, as parts of the Act contradicts their existing Penal Code.
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