Nigeria Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ, Delta State Chapter, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, MWAN, International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Association against Child Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Ideal Child Foundation, Courageous Girls and Women Initiative, Working Fingers and Soroptomist International recently took a stand against rape and gender based violence.
The campaign tagged “stand against rape and other Gender Based Violence” organized by Delta NAWOJ in partnership with other Women Association and Civil Society Organizations in the state was held at the Interbau roundabout Asaba, Delta State. Dressed in back attires with apron strings and carrying Placards bearing various inscriptions, such as Stop Rape Now, No Means No, Leave Me Alone Means No, Say No to Rape, Rape is a crime, Stop killing our girls, Say No to Child Molestation, Don’t Wait to be a Victim, and No to Sexual Violence. Their dressing and chants caught the attention of passerby and commuters, most of who slowed down to listen to the various speakers.
In her remarks, the state NAWOJ Chairman Comrade Pat Gbemudu called for the domestication of the Violence against Persons Prohibition VAPP Act in Delta State, adding that stricter punishments should be meted out to rapists, to serve as deterrent to other criminal minded persons. She said the increased activities of rapists could be due to the effect of hard drugs, psychological imbalance and ritual activities and urged parents to watch over their children with eagle eyes.
She said proper parenting is one of the key in the fight against rape, and urged parents to groom both the boys and girls into responsive and supportive citizens. She also advocated that rapists should be blamed, shamed and punished and not the victims.
Leaders of the various Civil society groups and Women associations present, said the campaign has become necessary given the increasing spate at which minors and adults, including boys and girls, were being raped in different parts of the country.
The state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Comrade Mike Ikeogwu, who came with some NUJ members to support the female journalists in their efforts to curb rape in the society, said rape is a crime that should be punished.
Participants from the various chapels that make up NAWOJ in Delta State, who spoke with newsmen, emphasized the need for more sensitization on the issues surrounding rape because rape has been described as a cancerous pandemic eating through the foundation of the society, and creating an unsafe environment for all.