The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has solicited for support towards its campaign against gender based violence in the country.
Dr. Godwin Tijani, Chairman, National Adhoc Committee on Gender Violence and other Related Issues of the association made the call on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja, Kogi state.
He said that there is need for Nigerians to rise against all forms of gender-based violence in the country.
He listed gender-based violence to include rape, sexual harassment, stalking, human trafficking, domestic abuse, genital mutilation and forced prostitution, among others.
He said that the term had a strong connotation as violence against women because one in every three women globally experience physical or sexual violence within their lifetime.”
Tijani said that the problem could be addressed through proper education and promoting concepts such as gender equality and integrating it in schools curriculum.
He explained further that there was the need for people including victims to speak out and not be victimized adding “by so doing; you may be saving someone’s life.”
“The advocacy community should also collaborate with other relevant stakeholders to take into account the criminal justice and treatment efforts in addressing gender offending behaviour,” he said.
He called for intensive public enlightenment in schools, social clubs, churches, mosques and the media to demystify the myths about gender violence.
Tijani said that the committee, in partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs, civil society organisations and the media, are committed to the fight against the menace.
He further said that a coalition of organizations, women’s groups, religious bodies and trade unions in every community, should also join the advocacy against the phenomenon.
He said, “Although, much gender-based violence is directed towards women and often treated as being interchangeable, it is not exclusive to violence against women.
Quoting a report from Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, he said that 99 per cent of rape cases were committed by men, whether the victim was a female or male.
The medical practitioner further said that in every 98 seconds, an individual experiences sexual violence globally.
He attributed the risk factors associated with sexual violence to low level of education, anti-social personality disorder, and alcohol abuse, attitude that condones violence and past histories of violence. (NAN)