NGO condemn blaming of SGBV victims, provide legal aid

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Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP) and Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) have condemned the blaming of victims of Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV).

Legal aid was also rendered to victims through a community legal clinic at the Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Alimosho, Lagos.

The project which was funded by CFLI, addresses the SGBV spectrum, as it affects women, children and people living with disability, and would be extended to the six LCDAs in Alimosho.

Programme Officer, WRAHP, Segun Babalola, said the project was implemented as a solution to the high-rising cases of SGBVs in the Local Council and aimed at sensitising, granting legal aid and introducing a sanctuary for indigents.

Blaming the increase of SGBV cases in the state on ignorance and carelessness, the programmes and legal manager, Bridget Andrew-Machief said: “If we keep letting perpetrators go free, then these things will continue. But when they know that it is a grievous offence, they will be encouraged to report to the right authorities.”

She urged members of the community to be sympathetic to victims, and stop victim-blaming, saying, “As communities, we must be sympathetic to the victims and stop laying blame on them as the cause.”

Andrew-Machief also called on families of victims and religious groups to participate in the healing process by offering emotional support to the victims.

Also, child rights advocate and executive member, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Cynthia Ibe, urged parents to be more intentional about parenting and bonding, owing to the growing number of child defilement cases in the country.

An advocate for people living with disability, Nneamaka Agianpuye, condemned the prevalence of discrimination and exploitation among people living with disability in the state, despite provisions under the law to preserve their rights.

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