By Laraba Usman
Centre for Integrated Health Programme (CIHIP) has decried the escalation of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and identified underreporting of cases as a major factor responsible for the increase.
Mal. Bashir Musa Senior Manager, Health System Strentning and Quality Improvement CIHIP stated this in an interview with newsmen as part of activities organised by CIHIP to commemorate the 16 days of activism in Gombe.
He said victims of such violence, especially rape faced stigmatisation in the society, thereby making their parents and guardians not to report the matter and hence perpetrators go unpunished.
He said within the 16 days of activism, they would conduct a series of sensitisation activities in the state to encourage people to report cases of sexual assaults against girls with a view to mitigating the menace to the barest minimum.
“In Gombe we do come across a lot of specific issues regarding child rape, not just specific to female but also male child who were victims of such violence.
“We also have issues of domestic violence which is more prevalent and instances of male victims of domestic violence which could lead to fatality.
“Also, there were instances where a husband was accessing live saving drug for HIV but deprived the women from accessing such services.
“These are the issues we are trying to bring before the stakeholders to sensitise people on the effect of GBV as it relates to the society how it affect the public, socio economically ,” he said.
In her remarks earlier, Ms Asama’u Iganus Commissioner Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development said, her ministry has been a key catalyst in advocating for the domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and Child right Act within the state.
She said the 2023 theme of 16 days of activism “Unite Invest to prevent Violence against Women and girls was apt, urging all stakeholders to focus on different prevention strategies against GBV.
Penalists at the programme harped on the need for all hands to be on deck to tackle the rising cases of GBV through awareness creation that could help the survivors report cases to authorities and by so doing, it can rid Gombe State of GBV.