CSOs advocate stiffer punishment to curb rape, violence against women in Gombe
Stiffer punishment to serve as deterrence to perpetrators of rape and other forms of violence against women in the country has been stressed by the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Gombe State if indeed the war against the menace must be won.
The coalition of the CSOs condemned the high rate of rape cases, especially of minors in the state, during a round table meeting organised by ‘Media on Better Life for Girls’, and supported by Save the Children International (SCI), calling for an enabling legal framework for the prevention and administration of justice on gender-based violence in the state.
According to the CSO’s, “Records available to us show that from March 2020 to date, about 25 cases were officially reported” and therefore pointed out that lack of domesticating the Child Rights Act in the state is one of the reasons the crime goes unabated.
The Coordinator of the Coalition, Hajiya Zariyatu Abubakar, therefore appealed to the Executive Arm of Government in Gombe State to hasten the domestication of the Child Right Act and Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAAP) Act.
She said this will establish a legal framework for the prevention and administration of justice on gender-based violence including rape in the state.
Zariyatu Abubakar also said that “Although we appreciate the authority’s concern by charging 23 of such cases to Court while two are being investigated, we, the Civil Society Organisations Coalition (CSO) on Ending Child Marriage in Gombe State are calling on the judiciary to hasten the trial of the alleged perpetrators’.
Tribune Online reports that Community Engagement and Advocacy Officer, Save the Children, Mr Akpan Effiong, said except the Child Rights Act is domesticated in Gombe State, it will be difficult to enforce justice, which is key to child protection.
According to him, “We cannot rest until there are implementations of laws to fight such sexual violence in the society. But if the laws are not there, protecting children becomes difficult”.
Chairman of the Media Coalition on Better Life for Girls, Hajiya Suuda Mustapha, on her own, tasked her colleagues to redouble their efforts in bringing out the ills of the society so that authorities will influence positive change and create a conducive environment, especially for the girl child.