Federal government has asked states yet to domesticate the law on violence against persons to do so without further delay.
The minister of women affairs and social development, Pauline Tallen, stated this at the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) yesterday at an event to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Tallen said this would help to curb cases of gender-based violence in the country.
The event, which was organised by the University of Abuja International Centre in collaboration with the institution’s UNESCO Club was themed: “Violence Against Women: Consequences and Solutions.”
The United Nations General Assembly designated November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subjected to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence.
Tallen, who was represented at the event by the assistant chief social welfare officer in the ministry, Mrs Victoria Lar, said that in four months during the period of COVID-19, the ministry reported about 3,850 cases of domestic violence.
“During the COVID-19, we have 3,850 cases only from March to June and then we have only eleven cases that assess justice.
“Until the Act in the states that have been signed gets domesticated it cannot be used in the court of law. So, the problem we have now is going back to make sure the states domesticate that Act so that survivors can use it,” he said.
While saying that gender-based violence does not only mean violence against women, she said government alone cannot address the issue, because it is a collective responsibility that requires the support of all Nigerians.
On her part, the acting director of the centre and associate professor of international law/convener of the event, Dr Aisha Sani Maikudi, said the centre is saddled with the responsibility of showcasing the institution to the international community hence the need for the event.
She lamented that violence against women is one of the most pervasive violation of human rights in the world and one of the least prosecuted crimes, while calling for prosecution of offenders.
“It is important to prosecute offenders and ending this impunity means that laws must be enforced, we can have the laws but they need to be enforced,” she said.
Also speaking, associate professor of law, Dr Gloria Shajobi-Ibikunle urged the students never to maintain silence but speak out whenever they perceive gender-based violence.
She urged the government to ensure that perpetrators of gender-based violence are brought to justice under Nigeria’s criminal law system.