By Segun James
While over 603 million females are living in environment where domestic violence is not yet a crime in world, more than 10,000 female children abused every day in Nigeria alone.
The founder of the We Rise Initiative (WRI), a non-governmental organisation empowering women and girls to rise above systemic oppression and the stigmatisation of feminism, Ms. Laila Johnson-Salami, disclosed this in Lagos yesterday.
Johnson-Salami said studies have shown that almost one in every three women or girls has been abused one way or the other, mostly by people close to them. Also, one in every eight boys is also victim of such abuses.
She lamented that most of these abuses come in form of rape from which the victims were forced not to disclose it because it is seen as a taboo.
According to her, the situation is even made worse by the fact that laws in the country also discriminate against the victims.
Johnson-Salami said: “The biggest problem is that even when the abuses are reported, the police who are to take action on the issues do not know what to do.”
She disclosed that surprisingly, most of the traffickers of abused victims are women themselves, stressing that it was for this reason that many of the abusers get way with their crimes.
Johnson-Salami said in the 21st century Nigeria, the law against rape does not even apply to male victims as it is assumed that you cannot rape a boy. “That is why we must speak up. This cannot be allowed to continue.
“Every year, the United Nations holds a 16 day campaign against gender-based violence, encouraging people to take a stand against gender-based abuse and (WRI) has contributed to this with a viral campaign,” she added.