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National

Coalition Of Women In FCT Move To End Child Abuse

todayMarch 10, 2024 14 3

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Coalition of women in the FCT have advocated measures that would discourage child molestation and abuse in the country.

The convener of the group, and the founder of Abuja Moms, Happiness Ani made the call in Abuja at a sensitization walk to educate citizens about their rights and encourage them to report cases to ensure victims get justice.

Mrs Ani who stressed that women and children were often suppressed and denied the right to participate in decisions affecting their lives said stiffer penalties on gender based offenses and regular awareness campaigns would go a long way in complementing government’s efforts at ensuring victims were reintegrated into the society.

Ani Explained further “For the number of years we are into this we have a lot of court cases going on we had judgement for one of the cases, and it’s not something that we want to stop we want to continue to do this yearly just to create awareness on what is happening and the Abuja Moms legal team are always on hand to support women and men who are going through this, that is basically why we came out today.”

“For me it took twenty years to talk about it at all after I told my mother, my mother was the first person I told, and after she called on my aunty’s parents and then they decided to drop the matter I didn’t speak on it any more for twenty years untill after I got married, so sometimes we see people who are over thirty, forty who just want to talk and start the process of healing”.

Also a legal practitioner, Mrs Nma Dickson who commended the existing law on gender based offenses admonished relatives and victims to report cases to the necessary authorities to ensure perpetrators are brought to book to serve as deterrent to others.

According to Dickson “Over the years, people tend to be afraid of these things, but because of a lot of advocacies, and the law, the law made it easier to prosecute those who molest children. The law made provision for compensation, because the child had gone through psychological trauma as a result of the abuse or molestation, so apart from the person serving prison terms, he is also compelled to pay for medical, psychological treatment and some compensation.

“The challenge we have is people coming out to speak out. There are cases that are not reported, a man molested the first house help, the woman sent her away, the second one that came he molested, the third one he also molested, so because she never reported, no action was taken, so he just kept doing it.”

“But assuming she had reported that incident, and the police had arrested him and prosecuted, or even if he is not prosecuted but for the fact that the case is reported he would have stopped. So he kept doing it, so when it is not reported it encourages these molesters to continue”.

During the sensitization walk the group were seen carrying placards with inscriptions such as ‘shatter the silence, report molestation, ‘say something, say something’, ‘uphold child rights act’ ‘stop child abuse’.

Florence Adewale, Edited By Grace Namiji

Written by: Safiya Wada

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