Mr. Sunday Agbakaba, the Data Manager at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, revealed that Nigeria has recorded a staggering 27,698 cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) from 2020 to 2023. This alarming statistic was disclosed during a train-the-trainers workshop on the use of the GBV dashboard and reportage in Umuahia, Abia State’s capital. The data, sourced from the GBV National Dashboard since its inception, shows a concerning trend in SGBV incidents across the country.
The breakdown of these figures is equally troubling, with 1,145 cases proving fatal and 393 perpetrators convicted during this period. The dashboard further indicates 9,636 open cases, 3,432 new cases, 1,741 closed cases, and 1,895 follow-up cases. Agbakaba described the dashboard as an innovative tool for real-time tracking of various types and locations of GBV in Nigeria, designed to enhance SGBV reportage across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Uju Ohanenye, emphasized the importance of reporting these crimes to ensure perpetrators face justice. She noted that religious leaders and traditional rulers often suppress such cases, hindering the fight against SGBV. The Abia Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Ngozi Felix, also highlighted the prevalence of gender-based violence in the state and commended the state’s efforts in protecting and empowering women and girls.
The revelation of over 27,000 cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria within just three years is a stark reminder of the pervasive nature of this issue in our society. These figures are not just statistics; they represent individual lives, families, and communities torn apart by violence and abuse. The data underscores the urgent need for concerted efforts to address this crisis at both the national and local levels.
The role of the GBV dashboard in tracking and reporting these cases is commendable. It provides a crucial platform for understanding the extent of the problem and formulating effective strategies to combat it. However, the high number of cases, including a significant number of fatal incidents, calls for more than just data collection. It demands action.
There is a need for a multi-faceted approach to tackle SGBV. This includes strengthening legal frameworks to ensure swift and fair justice for victims, enhancing support services for survivors, and implementing comprehensive education and awareness programs to change societal attitudes towards gender-based violence. The involvement of community leaders, religious institutions, and civil society organizations is vital in creating a culture that does not tolerate violence and supports survivors.
The role of the government in providing adequate resources and support to initiatives aimed at combating SGBV cannot be overstated. There is a need for increased funding for shelters, counselling services, and legal aid for survivors. The government must also ensure that law enforcement agencies are adequately trained and equipped to handle SGBV cases sensitively and effectively.
Did You Know?
- Global Prevalence: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence is a global issue, affecting millions of people worldwide.
- Impact on Mental Health: Survivors of SGBV often suffer from long-term psychological effects, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
- Economic Cost: SGBV has a significant economic impact, including healthcare costs and lost productivity.
- Role of Education: Education and awareness campaigns are crucial in changing societal attitudes and reducing the incidence of SGBV.
- Support Services: Access to support services, such as counselling and legal aid, is essential for the recovery and empowerment of SGBV survivors.