People with Disabilities Victims of Sexual Abuse in Ekiti, Fayemi Laments

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has lamented that people living with all forms of disabilities (PWDs) are being sexually abused by those he described as “sex predators” in the state.

Mrs. Fayemi said the government has zealously been implementing the Gender-Based Violence Prohibition Laws (GBV) and other relevant laws in protecting the right of women, especially those living with disabilities.

The first lady stated this in Ado Ekiti yesterday at a sensitisation programme on GBV women organised for people living with disabilities in the state.

Going down memory the lane, Fayemi revealed that in 2020 nationwide lockdown caused by the breakout of COVID-19 brought an  upsurge in all forms of violence against women due to closure of work spaces around the globe, assuring the public that her husband, Governor Kayode Fayemi’s government won’t condone  any form of discrimination against the physically challenged.

 She said: “Sex predators don’t care whether one is disabled or not, or wear skimpy skirt or not. They can do it to anyone. I have seen many physically challenged being sexually abused; even an 85-year-old woman was also a victim. What could have attracted her to these perpetrators?

“Apart from discrimination, the most urgent issues we are solving are lack of economic empowerment, education and training for the people living with disabilities. Though, while some of you are educated, you knew what you went through to acquire this. One aspect we have been able to ensure is that you have access to healthcare.

“To lessen your plights, the state government has put in place Office of Disability Affairs under Ministry of Women Affairs to deal with issues of social welfare and social justice for people with disabilities.”

In her presentation on ‘Ekiti Gender Based Violence Prohibition and Support for Women with Disabilities’, a lawyer and human rights advocate, Mrs. Rita Ilevbare, said no efforts should be spared in tackling the rampancy of  psychological, economic, physical and sexual violence against women.

Ilevbare, who is the executive director, Gender Relevance Initiative Promotion (GRIP), said from reports, women are most victim of GBV and such tendencies are more convenient with people living with  disabilities.

Reeling out what could trigger violence, Ilevbare stated that: “The culture of patriarchy, where men are favoured or perceived to be leaders, have been fueling GBV in the country.

“Anything that tends to put women at the mercy of men is violence, and it must be stopped. It is devastating to be a woman and carrying disabilities; it is double jeopardy. And we also have the culture of silence where people don’t want to talk because of stigmatisation. Violence and discrimination are twin evils, which we must confront at all cost.”

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