Parents, guardians’ reluctance to report violation poses challenge to fight against SGBV – Says Committee Secretary

By Samuel Luka, Bauchi

The inability of some parents and guardians to speak out or report to the appropriate authorities has been identified as one of the challenges bedeviling the fight against Sexual and Gender-based violence (SGBV) in Bauchi state.

The Secretary of the Bauchi State Action Committee on Sexual and Gender-based Committee, Hajiya Talatu Musa made this known during the Committee’s one day meeting to map out a work-plan for the year 2024 held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat Bauchi on Tuesday.

She added that the work of the Committee been a capital intensive one requires more funds for optimum result.

“We are having challenge with parents and guardians in terms of reporting Gender based violence, people are still having this idea of keeping quiet when it comes to Sexual gender-based violence issues”, she said.

Hajiya Talatu added, “they don’t want to speak out, they are always thinking that the survivor will be stigmatized or the perpetrator been a friend or family member will be exposed to shaming, so they always think it’s better to remain quite to protect the survivor or the perpetrator”.

While stating that the Committee came to been in July 2020 to create awareness regarding Gender-based violence issues, Hajiya Talatu said that the Committee is also saddled with the responsibility of taking proactive measures in collaboration with stakeholders in the state to curb the menace.

“We are here today to design a work plan, that is the series of activities that we are going to carry out next year that will guide us in achieving the target of the committee, activities such as sensitization, that is in terms of creating awareness, providing medical assistance, visitation to survivors, among others”, she explained.

The Secretary who said the Committee is working with stakeholders that are very committed, pointed out that the collaborative effort of the stakeholders has made the Committee to record tremendous achievements since its establishment three years ago.

“We have achieved a lot, we have established a center with the support of the First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed, the center is to provide free and confidential medical care to survivors of SGBVs at the Specialist hospital”, she said.

Hajiya Talatu who further said that the Committee has also established a shelter to serve as a temporary home for survivors of SGBV, noted that everything there is free.

According to her, since establishment, the Committee has intervened in more than three hundred cases, ranging from sexual assault, deprivation, child abuse and other issues relating to domestic violence or Gender based violence.

She said, in order to ensure justice for the survivors, the committee is working with the police, adding that the police Gender desk officer is also a member of the committee.

“The police Public Relations Officer is also a member of this Committee. We also have response teams across the 20 local government areas of the state. Any time we have gender based violence case, we report to the police and the police acts on it”, Hajiya Talatu explained.

While stating that all the services offered by the Committee are free, the secretary noted that Governor Bala Mohammed has approved certain amount to the Committee for running its affairs.

“To that regard, even transporting victims from the remote areas is free of charge, when you bring a survivor to us, we refund all that you have spent on the survivor.

She said that the stakeholders of the Committee includes, ministry of women affairs, justice, human Rights Commission, ministry of religious affairs and social welfare, NAWOJ, ministry of justice, hospitals management board, among others.

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