From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Edo State First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, has called on victims of Gender Based Violence, (GBV) across the state to take advantage of the Vivian Sexual Assault Referral Centre to address cases of abuse.
Her Excellency Betsy Obaseki made the call at a one day seminar on the Elimination of Violence Against Women to commemorate the annual 16- Days Activism Against Gender Based Violence put together by the Ministry of Social Development and Gender and the Office of the First Lady of Edo State.
Mrs. Obaseki represented by Dr Nosa Aladeselu expressed her renewed commitment and support for victims of GBV in the state in view of the numerous plans and structures already in place to address Gender based Violence one of which is the Vivian (SARC) Centre.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues, Mrs. Dorcas Idehen while addressing participants, described the 16 days of activism against GBV as a Clarion call for all and sundry. She said “to end this scourge calls for global action to increase awareness, galvernize advocacy efforts and share more knowledge globally.
In her address the President, Federation of Women Lawyers, (FIDA) Edo State chapter, Barrister Iryn Omorogiuwa advocated that all forms of gender based violence be properly reported.“The bottom line is that we are saying that there must be an end to violence against women and children. The discussions here are all geared to help us chart and forge a way forward where violence against women and children will be a thing of the past.”
The former Commissioner for Social Development and Gender, Mrs. Marian Edeko on her part said “there is need for proper sensitization on what constitutes violence against women and that is the reason for this seminar.
In another engagement the 100 Women Lobby Group Edo State were also at the Vivian Sexual Assault Referral Center to raise awareness on the function of the center.
Coordinator of the Group, Dr Mrs Nosakhare Aladeshelu said “we have gathered here to raise our voices so that Edo people will know that this centre exists; that Edo women will know that they can refer their cases here; that Edo men will know that this place is here for them to report issues of sexual or any abuse at all against their daughters and they will have the appropriate response.”
Another member of the group Barrister Ulo Uzamere threw light on what constitutes Gender Based Violence. She said “If you are being beaten that is physical violence, if you are being sexually assaulted and raped, that is sexual violence, if you are being starved of money and not allowed to make your own money that is financial violence, If you’re passing through any of these, come to this place and talk to your sisters”.