Experts in the health sector has reiterated the need for all Nigerians to end sexual and gender based violence in the country.
They made the disclosure at the International Day of Nurses and Midwives celebration in Abuja.
Speaking at the event, UNFPA Country Repreentative in Nigeria, Elisabeth Mueller, said women and girls experiencing sexual and gender based violence should not be stigmatized, but rather shown love and care.
According to her, there is need to create an enabling environment by providing human angle stories and show empathy to the survivors of Sexual and Gender Based violence.
” We need to always arrest the perpetrators and stop shaming the survivors. The moment we start taking legal action against them and ensuring that justice is done, then we will continue to experience meaningful development in the narrative”.
“We need to start put ourselves in the position of those passing through sexual and Gender based violence.
“Always remember to show love and care to girls and women. We should be able to pass the appropriate message across to people. We should also put a human face to our stories.”
She added that 18 million women in Nigerians have stories to tell regarding the issues of Sexual and Gender Based violence.
” We need to support women and girls by standing up for each others always. We need to give them assurance that they will get justice . When we hold each others hand , then we are on the way to ending sexual and gender Based violence.
The Executive Director of Drac, Irene Patrick Ogbogu, disclosed that people with disability are constantly neglected, and they suffer 3 times more violence than other people.
“We should not just think that Persons with Disability are source of concerns. The issue is that they have myriad of challenges in accessing services. We want the government and stakeholders to support in reducing the challenges that women with disabilities are facing on a daily basis.”
While commending the organizers for inclusion and removing the barriers towards Persons with disability.
She urged all other organizers to take a cue, by providing access through which people with disability can speak at event with ease, without barriers.
“The organizers have really tried by ensuring that I can speak comfortably at this event without being carried about like a baby, just like it’s usually done in other program. This is one of the first step towards inclusion and access, and I find it very commendable”.
She also called on all security officials to support the survivors when they report to appropriate authorities.
“Many times when girls and women went to report to security officials, they are usually faced with negative stereotype which is not the normal norms.
Some persons living with disability, experience extreme form of violence when they have issues with their partners.
When they report the women are usually judged by the security officials.
There is no access to justice, which is not encouraging at all”.