From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Wife of Edo State governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, yesterday, warned parents, relatives and friends of victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) who solicit on behalf of the perpetrators for cases to be settled out of court, will henceforth be joined in the case and charged with obstructing justice and compounding felony.
Chairman of the Edo State GBV Management Committee, Betsy Obaseki gave the warning during a sensitization and advocacy tour of Edo North, Edo Central and Edo South Senatorial Districts to mark the 16 days of activism against gender based violence in the state.
The governor’s wife who led members of the committee to sensitize traditional rulers, Muslim and Christian leaders, non governmental organizations, and other stakeholders, noted that most cases of gender based violence are perpetrated by close relatives, friends and spouses.
She said that the culture of soliciting on behalf of these perpetrators encourages silence of the victims and has become a major obstacle in the fight against gender based violence.
She brought the attention of the stakeholders to the existence of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law which punishes all types of GBV, among them are, obsolete traditional practices that degrade humans, particularly women, female circumcision, rape, child marriage, disinheriting women, spousal battery among others.
The First Lady of the state further inaugurated the Student Against Gender Based Violence Clubs in all the primary and secondary schools in the three senatorial districts charging the students to be the watch dog in their schools and promising them the support of the committee.
On the part of the state governor, Goodwin Obaseki, he lamented the high rate of gender based violence even among highly placed people in the society.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Philip Shaibu, urged women to help preserve the sanctity of marriage “men are wicked. I want to say it the way it is, whether you are at the top or the lowest parts of the society, serious minded people, highly placed government officials, political officials, pastors just name it, the way they treat their wives, you will think these women are not human beings.
“And for you women, leave marriage homes alone! Be content with your own homes because you contribute to the problem.”