CSO encourages men to share gender violence experience

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A civil society organisation, YouthHub Africa, has urged men to speak about their experiences of sexual and gender-based violence, in spite of the low level of data about abuses against men.

The Executive Director of YHA, Rotimi Olawale, said this in Abuja on early December, while speaking to pressmen, at a Men’s Summit
Conference on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, organised in collaboration with the Spotlight Initiative of the United Nations Women and the European Union.

Olawale, who revealed that the summit was part of the 16 days of activism on violence against women and girls, said it was important for men to talk about their experiences, adding that the patriarchal nature of the Nigerian society made it difficult for men to speak out.

“So, when we talk about violence against women, violence against any persons, we are also encouraging men to share their pains. Men are not allowed to share their pain, and that is what we are talking about. So, if a woman is beating a man, the man would say if I go and report outside now that my wife is beating me, they will say which kind of man am I? So, we need to speak out.”

He stated that there could be more data about men who suffered domestic violence if they spoke out and lamented the lack of adequate laws to protect victims and persons who suffered sexual and gender-based violence.

“The data is low, there are many more women who are bastardised, there are many more women who are thrown out of their houses, there are not enough laws protecting them. In developed countries, you cannot do that, you cannot because of whatever reason you and your wife argued and quarrelled, throw her out. There are laws that protect you, we don’t have enough of such in Nigeria. And we also need laws that protect men. Whether 5% or 2% of abuse, first, we want them to speak out, we want them to report the cases, so that we can have more data and are able to deal with it.”

Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of the Roost Foundation, Dame Okah-Donli, expressed happiness that the organisation was addressing men, who were the primary perpetrators of the SGBV. She stated that women wanted diligent prosecution of perpetrators of the SGBV and enjoined the government to criminalise stigmatisation of victims, as well as those who convinced them to settle out of court.

The Desk Officer of the Federal Capital Territory Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Response Team, Jacinta Ike, while presenting a situation report on the SGBV in the FCT, said the Secretariat had handled a total of 110 cases of SGBV in 2022, with 106 of the cases being females, while the remaining 4 were males.

A breakdown of the cases revealed that there were 72 cases of domestic violence, eight cases of rape, nine cases of child abuse, 11 cases of assets denial and 10 cases of neglect, emotional abuse, and others.

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