BY OBINNA OGBONNAYA, Abakaliki
The European Union and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) yesterday expressed concern at the in-creasing rate of defilement, rape cases and other forms of violence against women, girls and children in Ebonyi State and called on the judiciary to ensure accelerated justice to serve as deterrent to others.
The UNICEF desk officer in the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Ebonyi State, Mr. Uchenna Unah made the comment during a sensitization programme on ending violence against women, girls and children in Abakaliki local government area of the state.
According to Mr. Unah; “The incident of rape and defilement in Ebonyi State is high, especially the children and the infants. We have consistently been getting reports of defilement.
The worrisome situation is that some of the cases we have been getting involved infants within one year being defiled”
.He, however, commended Ebonyi State Police for being up and doing in ensuring that such cases are adequately investigated.
“The Ministry of Woman Affairs and Social Development and the Ministry of Justice Ebonyi State have also not left any stone unturned in handling such cases.
“We will also advocate that such cases be given accelerated hearing and justice meted out to the perpetrators to serve as deterrent to others. I can tell you that there are many cases of defilement, rape and other forms of vio-lence against women, girls and children in the state and we are optimistic that they will do justice to such cases,” he said.
Mr. Unah called on the women, girls and children to always voice out when they are violated or raped, adding that from available records, perpetrators of violence against women and girls are mostly neighbours, friends, class-mates and strangers.
The UNICEF/NOA desk officer noted that the agencies would continue to campaign against physical and emotional abuse, neglect and sexual abuse which have been identified as major cases of violence against children in Ebonyi State.