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1,172 victims of sexual violence in FCT, Adamawa in 12 months – Foundation

A civil society organization (CSO) Neem Foundation has revealed that over 1,172 people have faced sexual gender based violence in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and Adamawa State in 12 month.

Speaking at a panel discussion with key media partners on strengthening responses to sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) organized by the NEEM Foundation with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) EU , UN Spotlight Initiative Project, Technical Officer, Need Foundation, Evelyn Terund Ugbe, said sexual and gender-based violence is not only a consequence of gender inequality, but also a constant reminder of the lower status of women in society and multiple gender disparities.

“Research shows that girls living in Nigeria may have experienced at least one form of sexual assault before reaching the age of 25.

“Governments and development organizations have supported interventions to reduce the threat, particularly with the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) in Adamawa, FCT and all 33 states of the Nigeria, supported designated gender-based violence courts, establishment of the Assault and Referral Centre, one-stop centres, gender-based violence data dashboard, sex offender and provider registries services among several other interventions,” said Evelyn, adding that despite extensive commitments and intervention, sexual and gender-based violence persists.

She said that according to the National GBV Dashboard, 513 GBV incidents were reported in the Federal Capital Territory, during the period of January 2021 to June 2022, while in Adamawa State , from January 2021 to May 2022, 659 cases were reported from the 21 LGAs in the state with Yola North, Numan, Yola South, Demsa and Gerei reporting the highest incidents.

She said that in light of this, the Neem Foundation is working with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to implement the Coordinated Response to Sexual and Gender Based Violence Project with financial and technical support from the Spotlight Initiative Project of the of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

“The project focuses on building the capacity of service providers and ensuring the availability and accessibility of essential services that are acceptable and meet quality standards.

“In addition, provide technical support to one-stop centers where survivors can access holistic services such as medical care, psychosocial support, legal assistance, safe space and livelihood support. The center is crucial, especially at a time when there is a growing gap and demand for services for GBV survivors. The response also provides coordinated, multi-sectoral and quality essential services to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in a coordinated manner,” she said.