Thursday , October 29 2020

NGO advocates increased reportage of SGBV cases to end menace in Gombe

NGO advocates increased reportage of SGBV cases to end menace in Gombe

An NGO, Save the Children International (SCI) has sensitised 10 communities in Gombe state on the need to increase reporting of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases in their communities.

The town hall meeting to sensitise stakeholders from the 10 communities took place in Tilel Community in Dukku Local Government Area on Monday.

The meeting sponsored by SCI with funding from the Canadian Government and implemented by Kishimi Shelter and Care Foundation.

The meeting is part of SCI’s Reaching and Empowering Adolescents to make Choices for their Health (REACH) Project in Gombe State.

The Community Engagement and Advocacy Coordinator, SCI, Mr Akpan Effiong said that the increasing rape and other SGBV cases was worsened by the lockdown.

Effiong stated that SCI had organised the meeting to interact with stakeholders in the communities on how best to address the menace.

He reiterated the need for communities to always report cases to ensure that perpetrators of rape do not walk free, adding that not speaking up put others at risk of becoming victims too.

He identified stigmatisation as a major setback to the fight to get the people to report cases of SGBV in their communities.

The SCI official appealed to parents to always pay attention to their children and advocated the need for sex education at homes.

Mr Ibrahim Istifanus, team lead, Kishimi Shelter and Care Foundation for REACH Project, Gombe state said the attitudes of adolescents in communities where this project was being implemented had changed positively.

Istifanus stated that since the commencement of the REACH Project in Dukku and Balanga local governments, there had been improvements in the level of awareness of SBGV cases in communities and reportage.

“The essence of the town hall meeting is to boost awareness drive and ensure that people report issues of SGBV to end this menace in our communities.

“For instance, in the last three weeks, we have about three reported cases of rape. The level of awareness has gone to the level that no one is willing to keep quiet again.

“So far, we can say the level of reportage has moved from zero per cent to between 30 and 40 per cent,’’ he said.

Our correspondent reports that highlights of the meeting were interactive sessions by community representatives and facilitators from SCI, security personnel, health workers and social welfare personnel on issues relating to SGBV.

Also, toll free numbers were given to girls, women and community leaders for complaints.

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