The Society for Family Health (SFH), has identified economic challenges as major threat to the fight against gender-based violence (GBV).
Deputy managing director of the society, Dr Jennifer Anyanti, stated this as the group ended its activities towards marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Anyanti noted that COVID-19 brought along some economic challenges due to the attendant lockdown and restrictions which were initiated to check the spread of the virus.
“we cannot hide ourselves from the act that Covid-19 has brought along some economic challenges. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s been a lot of challenges with women being at home and a lot of men are finding finances quite difficult, and of course, this has eventually come out and show itself as violence against women.”
“People do not have something doing, and this increases violence in the family,” she added.
Anyanti, therefore, called on government to provide social welfare schemes for women who are victims of GBV. She also called for policies on punishment of GBV perpetrators.
She urged victims of GBV to speak out and seek help, saying GBV figures are rising because more people are afraid to speak out and some others are seeking personal solutions.
“We as Family Health Society are trying to encourage people who faced violence to speak out and discuss with friends, neighbors and family members.
“When people speak out, help will get to them and something will be done about it. This is why we are focusing on ending domestic violence against women.
“I, therefore, encourage everyone to take action against any form of violence,” she said.
Also, the gender, legal and human rights technical adviser to SFH, Mr Chidubem Nwofor, advocated for the need for a special fund, for handling issues of GVB in the areas of advocacy, trainings, empowerment, and enforcement of GBV policies.
He commended the lagos state government for creating a special court for GBV matters and also called on other states and the FCT to follow suit.
Nwofor adviced that names of GBV perpetrators be made public after proper investigation and certified judgment without room to appeal.
“such an act would be a good example for others not to be involved in violence,” he added.