Posted by News Express | 16 October 2020 | 517 times
By CHARLES IWUOHA
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the Child Protection Network (CPN), a non-governmental organisation, have threatened to use every available measure to jail more rapists and perpetrators of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Ebonyi state.
According to UNICEF, the increasing spate of rape in the state was not acceptable and would use the rape case involving one Miss Chinaza as an example of its resolve to ensure perpetrators of gender-based violence did not escape justice.
UNICEF and CPN spoke in Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area of the state while addressing students of Girls’ Model Secondary School in the area during the 2020 International Day of the Girl Child.
The programme, with the theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future”, was organised by the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with the state partners and with support from UNICEF.
UNICEF Desk Officer in the Ministry, Emmanuel Nkwuda, advised the school girls to boldly report any form of violence against them to the UNICEF focal person in the school so as to enable the organisation take the matter up and fight for them.
He condemned some victims of sexual violence who, out of fear, refused to speak up when they violated. He said such action continued to affect the victims emotionally and psychologically.
Ebonyi state coordinator of CPN, Flora Egwu, described rape as a very rampant criminal act and urged the girls not to give in to any sexual advance or relationship that could result to sexual harassment.
Egwu, said the organisation would always stand by child-survivors of any gender-based violence and protect them from victimisation.
She said: “We are not just talking about FGM. If there is any other form of abuse these days, it is rape, which is the main thing now. If anybody wants to rape you, speak up, run away; don’t keep quiet.
“There are people that will speak for you. We will make sure that we jail anybody that rapes you. We will jail more rapists. We have fought for some girls.
“Early this year, we fought for Chinaza, who was raped and the person who raped her is currently serving five years imprisonment after he was arrested and prosecuted through our efforts. We will make sure that more rapists are jailed,”” they vowed.
One of the students, Chigozie Aja, said the programme had equipped them with full knowledge of their rights and how to report any violation against them. She lauded UNICEF for supporting such enlightenment programme for students in the state.
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