Ebonyi – Following the upsurge in cases of sexual abuses and other social vices against women and children, the Ebonyi State Chapter of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, in collaboration with other Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, yesterday embarked on a peaceful protest to press home there demand for the protection of the children and Women in the Society.
The Campaign was a one week exercise.
Speaking to Punchynews, the Commission through its State Coordinator, Dr. Okorie Christopher, condemned the practice of rape in Society as explained that the rights of the victims of rape are not protected but often times violated.
He attributed the ugly practice to lack of cooperation on the part of the victims or relatives, harmful cultural practices, ignorance, corruption, among other prevailing factors in society.
According to Dr. Okorie, “the National Human Rights Commission Nationwide and in particular, Ebonyi State Office, in collaboration with her partnering Civil Society Organizations here in Ebonyi State namely: HURIDE, CPN and HRCR have embarked on a one week of Activism to declare ZERO TOLERANCE against rape and all forms of gender based violence in Ebonyi state.
“The rate of proven incidences of rape and gender based violence have reached an unprecedented geometric proportion Nationwide. One wonders, if this ugly situation has always been perpetrated in magnitude as it is notice today but underreported or there is actual spike number in the number of incidences.
“One thing that is evident is that Rape and all forms of Gender Based Violence no matter the magnitude unfortunately still happens and violate the rights of affected individuals; rape and all forms of Gender Based Violence are condemnable, criminal and punishable according to the laws of the land.
“Some victims and Relatives of Rape Victims and Gender Based Violence after they report such cases, back off and abandon the case in such a manner that it becomes difficult to hold the violator accountable for the purpose of deterrence to others, correction and possible redress to the violated.
“Some of our cultural practices objectify the body and entire being of the woman so much so that the woman is seen as the property of the man. This objectification is part of the underlying negative motivation for violations of the humans as sex objects and/or beast of burden/labour.
“Sometimes Rape and Gender Based Violence continue because victims lack knowledge of where to seek help and immediate intervention from.
“Corruption among few unscrupulous elements among the law enforcement agents who through high profile or subtle financial extortion, discourage victims of rape from pursuing their cases to logical conclusion.NHRC requests all law enforcement agencies to continue to educate their officers to the fact that services to the public are free and should not be seen as such.”
The state Chairman, Human Rights Defenders and Liberty Access, Mr. Samson Nweke; the state Coordinator, Child Protection Network, Chief(Mrs) Flora Egwu; the Executive Director, Education Today for Sustainable Development Initiative; among other CSOs members, called for collective efforts towards ending the cases of sexual abuses against women and children.