Gender based violence in Nigeria would not end without the support of both the police and the judiciary, the Minister of Woman Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has said.
To this end, Mrs. Tallen, who had spoken Monday, at the launch of Cece Yara Foundation, founded by Mrs. Bola Tinubu to save and support children from abuse, begged the police and the judiciary for cooperation in the fight against gender-based violence.
“I urge the police and judiciary to support this fight because, without the action, cases of gender-based violence will suffer,” she said, adding that: “Partnership is key in issues of gender-based violence that is why I am assuring Cece Yara Foundation of my ministry’s partnership and full support.”
“We are going to work together, this is a top priority to my ministry because the child is the future of tomorrow,” she said.
According to her, “It is the responsibility of all well-meaning Nigerians to support and protect the child because it is our responsibility.”
The minister spoke further: “Today’s event is very significant particularly because we are commissioning this edifice of the Cece Yara foundation to protect and support our children that are abused.
“This is coming at a very right time as we commemorate the international for violence against women and children which kicked off on Nov.25 to end Dec 10 2020.
“It is 16 days of activism, I am very sad with the high incidence of child molestation and children abuse and women abuse in our country. ‘’
She hailed the Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre, particularly on what she described as its “concept of a one-stop centre as it provided psychosocial medical and legal services under one roof in a confidential manner.”
According to her, the ministry had also secured a toll-free line 08031230651 for reporting cases of gender-based violence in the country.
Also, speaking at the event, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF’s Child Protection Specialist, Godwin Odo, commended Cece Yara Foundation for the initiative.
He regretted that minors and toddlers were becoming victims of this violence, tasking both the government and the stakeholders to sit up with a view to ending the menace.
He said:“We have a responsibility as a government, as stakeholders, as parents as relations to ensure that we do all we can to prevent the occurrences of these incidences.”
According to him, it was imperative to ensure that adequate remedies were gotten both in terms of trauma counselling , in terms of psychosocial support, and in terms of ensuring that justice was done.
Odo said perpetrators of the acts be kept away from society by the provision of the rule of law.
On her part, the founder of the Cece Yara Foundation, Mrs. Bola Tinubu, explained the increasing rate of abuse of children necessitated the establishment of the foundation.
The Cece Yara (meaning save the children in Hausa), would also work to ensure that children do not only get access to justice but also able to get the healing that they needed.
She said: “What we need to do is to reach out and help them is to provide them the necessary space for them to come and disclose their abuse and for us to hold perpetuators to account.
“If we do not hold the perpetrators to account, we will not stop the abuse we have to deter them by sending them a real good message that they will go to jail if they continue to molest children.’’
She said underreporting cases of gender-based violence remained a challenge in the country.
She explained that “What we have here is the child advocacy centre , we have a very special service which is called the child forensic interview.”
“What it does is that it allows us to elicit valuable evidential information from children in a developmentally sensitive way in a legally defensive manner to be used in court,” she further explained.