SGBV: Youth Organization calls for domestication of VAPP Act by all States
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Active Youth Advocacy Initiative (AYAI), has called for the proper adoption of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act by all the 36 states of the federation as one of the ways to combat sexual violence in the country.
The youth-led organization made this call during a webinar hosted in partnership with Women FM 91.7, Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA), supported by MacArthur Foundation.
The webinar which was tagged: ” Beyond Campaigns: As Youths Rise to Combat Sexual Assault in Nigeria” stressed the need for youths and relevant stakeholders to push for lawmakers to adopt the VAPP ACT in every state.
While highlighting the importance of youth in the fight against rape and all forms of sexual violence in the country, Active Youth Advocacy Initiative tasked Nigerian youths to lead the discourse in finding lasting solutions to the menace in the country.
The Special Assistant to Oyo State Governor on Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Kazim Bolarinwa, noted that there is a dire need for other states to adopt the act so that we can have a stronger and better framework to protect and proffer solutions to rape and other sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.
“We already have a law in place. We only need youths to push for the adoption of the act in every state. We have it in Abuja and we still have up to 23 States that are yet to adopt the law. So, we need others to adopt it so we can have a stronger and better framework to protect everyone from this societal menace we are confronted by”.
“Also, parents are responsible for the proper education of their children. this is Because, the first education should start from home and the best training is that which children get from their parents, it will stick forever. So, intimating children on the basics of protecting their body are lessons they will imbibe from their young age” he added.
Similarly, Miss Cynthia Mbamalu, the Director of Programs Yiaga Africa added that another major to curtail the menace is to properly utilize the use of the national sexual offense registers to track and monitor sexual offenders in the country.
“National sex offenders register can be utilized for maximum benefits because it was launched to help name, shame, and prosecute perpetrators of sexual violence. Not only that, but it will also link victims, survivors, and even perpetrators to the help they may need anywhere in the country”
“However, there is a need to educate people and create awareness on the existence of the register. Most importantly, once the offenders’ name goes in, it is in. Any state an offender goes to, the authority will be notified and the neighbors will be informed that a sexual offender has moved to the neighborhood so that their children will be protected” she noted.
Meanwhile, participants also tasked youths to do more in creating awareness and ensuring proper sensitization, adoption, and enforcement of sexual violation laws in all states and also, holding perpetrators of rape accountable for their actions rather than being sympathetic.
Shittu Yunus, Founder, The Active Youth Advocacy Initiative stated that the webinar is an ongoing conversation on the reality of sexual assault on girls and women and the role of youths in the fight against rape and all forms of gender-based violence in Nigeria