By: Smith Nwokocha
MOTHER OF HOPE INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVE IN COLLABORATION WITH THE RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH.
PRESENTS: ONE DAY SENSITIZATION ON SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AMONGST STUDENTS IN RIVERS STATE
@COMMUNITY SECONDARY SCHOOL (SENIOR), OKPORO ROAD, RIVERS STATE.
26TH NOVEMBER, 2021 8:00AM.
The team arrived the school premise and kick-start the sensitization exercise. Over 500 students were sensitized on Gender-Based Violence, making the 16 Days Activism. Among the Facilitators, students were divided into groups, because of the large numbers to enable the students participate fully.
Dr. Mrs. Egelege Aziemeola Pius, Fellow of West African Institute of Public Health Professionals and Fellow of Institute for Humanitarian Studies and Social Development (One of the Key-note Speaker); She asked the big question, why are we here today? Her response was; We are here today to anchor on the theme: “End Sexual Gender-Based Violence among Youths”. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and it runs through 10th December which is Human Rights Day. Statistically, one in four girls will experience sexual violence before she turns 18.
WHAT THEN IS GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE:
The United Nations’ definition of GBV is, “any act of gender-based violence that result in, or is likely result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women…whether occurring in public or private life.”
Gender-based violence is somewhat more inclusive term than violence against women. GBV could include violence against men, provided the violence stems from a man’s gender identity or presentation.
FORMS OF VIOLENCE:
Psychological Violence (also called Emotional or Mental Violence):
HOW DO WE END GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE?
Recognize the role of gender in violence
Educate yourself on the root causes of violence
Interrupt Sexist and Discriminatory language
Be critical and question
Get the message out
Report photos and messages that exploit women and girls
Stop Sexual harassment
Develop an action plan
Stop victim blaming
It’s not your fault
Stop Rape culture
Call Gender-based violence, what it is- violence, not “bullying”.
Create safe spaces to discuss gender-based violence
Confront and reflect on your ideas and beliefs
Stop stereotyping men’s and women’s roles
Remember that violence is a choice, and it is preventable
Be supportive and believe
Be aware of available resources for girls and women
Be a Mentor
Understand and practice consent!
HELP AFTER RAPE:
The Rivers State Ministry of Health in conjunction with FIDA, Doctors Without Borders and other NGOs like Mothers of International Initiative (MOHII), Voice of The Vulnerables are out to support victims of Rape in Rivers State. Rape victims who receive POSITIVE support from family and friends are more likely to recover faster. Victims of Rape are given free and CONFIDENTIAL medical care and counselling to victims of Rape and sexual violence. If you or someone you know has been raped.
WHERE TO SEEK HELP:
Rivers State Government has put in place some Health facilities to reach and get help. Do not forget that, Rape requires medical emergency, when it occurred, report immediately. The following are the facilities:
Orogbum Health Centre in Ogbunabali near Garrison Bus-stop
Eliozu Health Centre
Oyigbo Primary Health Centre
Ayama Primary Health Centre Abua
In conclusion, Gender-based violence affects people everywhere. Women and girls are especially vulnerable to violence as cultural norms and attitudes toward gender equality disadvantage women around the world. Gender-based violence is especially prevalent when women and girls are migrating.
During the interactive session, Dr. Egelege advocate for the introduction of an SGBV CLUB in the school, as a safe haven for students to discuss sexual violence related matters and she emphasized that the most important is to “Speak out”.
Mrs. Mary Obisike (SGBV-TWG HEAD-RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH): She taught the students the gesture sign of SGBV. She ensures that the fliers (Rivers State Government on Management of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Rivers State) through her team are distributed equally to participating students. This initiative is fully supported by His Excellency, Barrister Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike CON, GSSRS; POS (Africa), Executive Governor, Rivers State, Including the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Rivers State (Prof. Princewill Chike).
Response Hotlines: 09025764565, 070404101523, 09033555455, 07058890060 and 08033429155