Ini Billie, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government said it recorded 321 cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) between January and November 24, 2023.
According to the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) data obtained from the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Response Department, Ministry of Justice, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the age range of victims was between two and 65 years.
In the period under review, 170 cases of spousal battery, 20 cases of inflicting physical injury, 11 cases of harmful widowhood practice, and 120 rape cases were recorded.
In her reaction, wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor and Chairperson, State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee, Pastor Patience Umo Eno, warned rapists, paedophiles and abusers to desist from the act, saying it will not be tolerated.
While flagging off the 16 Days Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in the State during the weekend, Mrs Eno said the crimes of rape and molestation must not be treated lightly.
She stated that anyone found to be a rapist or shielding rapists and paedophiles would be made to face the full wrath of the law, and called on all hands to be on deck to rid the state of all forms of GBV.
“I am here today as the Chairperson of this Committee to flag off this 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence in the State.
“Henceforth, it will not be business as usual. I am calling on our men to support this advocacy by saying no to rape and all forms of abuse against women and the girl-child. Let’s put a stop to this menace,” She said.
The First Lady charged parents not to buckle up under pressure, but demanded and stand for justice on SGBV matters, noting that the state government through the GBV management committee has put in place measures to curb the ugly trend.
She explained that the ’16 Days Activism’ was an advocacy designed to raise awareness on the alarming rate of rape and abuse in the society, adding, “No one should feign ignorance when the law catches up with him or her.”
While speaking, Secretary of GBV Committee, Barr. Emem Etteh stated that the flag-off walk for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a demonstration against GBV in the state and the world.
Etteh said Akwa Ibom State has always been in the forefront against perpetrators of rape and will not relent to be a voice against GBV.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), women groups, traditional leaders, religious leaders, and female youths were all part of the campaign.