NGO advocates special courts to handle cases of violence against women, girls

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Restoration of the Dignity of Womanhood, has called on the government to establish special courts to handle cases of violence against women and girls in the country.

Mrs Olabisi Omolona, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NGO, who stated this on Saturday in Akure, Ondo State, while giving a talk on the 2020 International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, said that this would hasten the prosecution of perpetrators of any violence against women and equally ensure adequate protection against discrimination.

She advised that government should make public the acts perpetrated by offenders and equally convict them, saying that government should incorporate the principles of equality of men and women in the legal system.

The CEO urged government to abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women.

Omolona noted that many women had died in silence while many girls had been molested and silenced, stressing that they should speak out when molested because “silence kills’’.

“We want our women to speak out, instead of suffering in silence, so that they will not die in silence. Most of them even at home are suffering.

“Many women are suffering of high blood pressure because of the accumulated harassment and violence against them,’’ she said.

According to her, violence is being used as a means to maintain and reinforce women’s subordination, whereas they are entitled to the equal enjoyment and protection of all their human rights, as well as fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social and civic fields.

“It is a pity that most violent cases are not reported but we handled no fewer than 100 reported cases of violence against women and girls in Nigeria in 2019 and they have been transferred to the law enforcement agencies for proper prosecution.

“I can recollect a case of a middle age man who raped a 10-old girl in Igbara-Oke and the man was sentenced to 10 years in prison,’’ she said.

Omolona tasked the Ondo State House of Assembly to pass the Violence Against Women Bill into law and emulate the Ekiti Government by developing and making public a register of sex offenders, so as to reduce to the barest minimum all forms of violence against women.

She urged philanthropists and well-to-do Nigerians to collaborate with the NGO, saying that it was a lifesaving organisation.

“We do sensitise our girls in schools and informing our women about their rights, but we cannot do it alone without support,’’ she said.

She enjoined governments to not only support the crusade, but also ensure they acted promptly whenever cases of violence against women were reported.

“We want government to come up on time when women’s rights are being violated and government should establish rehabilitation centres where victims of violence can be treated and be given therapy,’’ Olmolona said.(NAN)