Stakeholders on the Sexual Gender based Violence (SGBV) Management Committee in Bauchi, have called on parents and guardians to openly communicate with their children on reporting cases of violence.
The acting Chairperson of the committee, Mrs Grace Maikudi, made the call at the Stakeholders meeting, held in Bauchi, on Friday.
“Encourage open communications with children, so that they can report violence to a trusted adult, without any fear of repercussions.
“Transform community norms, attitudes, and behaviors that condone violence against children, specifically sexual and gender-based violence”, she said.
Maikudi also canvassed engagement with religious leaders, opinion leaders and parents, to promote positive images of masculinity and gender equality, while encouraging reflection on what it means to be a man in the society.
She also advocated for training and encouraging the media to cover stories about child protection, as an avenue to “help combat stigma and raise public awareness about the country’s child protection system.”
Also speaking, Mrs Comfort Attah, the Executive Director of a Bauchi-based NGO, Attah Sisters Helping Hand Foundation (ASHHF ), said stakeholders in the communities were trained to share knowledge and skills with parents, to reduce violence in their own homes and support children to report violence when it occurred.
Attah noted that domestic violence takes many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and mental.
“Traditionally, domestic violence is committed against females. Common forms of violence against women in Nigeria are rape, acid attacks, molestation, wife beating, and corporal punishment,,” She said
She revealed that her organization had recorded 148 cases of violence in the state in 2020, out of which 45 were sex related, adding that some of the cases were handed over to the police for prosecution, while others were settled out of court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the stakeholders comprised Health workers, the Police, Civil Defence, welfare officials, Civil Society Organizations, and the Media supported by Global affairs Canada and ActionAid, facilitated by ASHHF Bauchi. (NAN)