Stop Molesting House Helps, Nigerians Warned

Stop Molesting House Helps, Nigerians Warned

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Chairman, Bwari Area Council, John Gabaya has warned against molestation of house helps, noting that it remains a crime punishable under the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPPA).

He gave the warning at a Stakeholders’ Community Advocacy Dialogue on Sexual and Gender Based Violence, (SGBV) organized by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Thursday at the Council Headquarters in Bwari local government area of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT).

Gabaya who was represented by the Head Administration in the Council, Amina Solomon, said the presence of NAPTIP protection officers in the area council provided access to quick reporting of SGBV cases in the area as community members and victims can easily report such cases without fear as confidentiality is fully assured.

He said: “I know in days past, issues of rape and molestation are difficult to report. We have noticed that people bring in house helps only to later turn them into the Madam’s of their homes against their wishes but today, we have a channel, a place that people can easily report these cases to.

She commended NAPTIP’s campaign against SGBV stating that it has really impacted and change the landscape in the fight against sexual and gender based violence in the FCT.

Director General, NAPTIP, Professor Fatima Waziri-Azi, while speaking on the need to avoid community settlement of rape and incest cases, said such cases are strictly court cases as they are seen as grievous state offence and settling them at community level amounts to injustice for victims.

The DG admonished parent and community member not to dismiss their children and wards when they report cases of SGBV to them as this will make the child loose to confidence in the society as parent have failed them.

She reiterated the importance of preserving evidence in such cases to present a tight roof case in court.

She advised: “Always believe your children when they report molestation or rape cases to you. Believe them, don’t call them liars.

“Most of the victims in our shelter will tell you that they reported to their parents but no one believed them.

In her presentation on the VAPPA 2015, Assistant Director, Public Enlightenment Department, NAPTIP, Helen Emuze, explained key sections of the Act to the community members, religious and traditional leaders

Head of Rapid Respond Squared, (RRS), NAPTIP, Emem Magnus, enlightened the gathering on the roles stakeholders must play in respond to SGBV cases and its prevention.

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