…KickStart 16 Days of Activism
Folalumi Alaran in Abuja
In a concerted effort to combat Gender-Based Violence (GBV) against women and girls, an NGO based in Abuja, called FAME Foundation, has launched its 16 Days of Activism Campaign against GBV.
Speaking during a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, the Executive Director of FAME Foundation, Arabinrin Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello, called on relevant bodies, including the Nigeria Police Force, to prosecute those involved in crimes against women and sexual abuse in the country.
Ogunleye-Bello emphasized that the 16 days of activism campaign, running from November 25th to December 10th annually, is a global commemoration. This year’s theme, “UNITE! Invest to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls,” underscores the urgent need for collective action and investment to eliminate gender-based violence.
She stressed that gender-based violence affects individuals irrespective of gender, thriving in silence fueled by societal norms and shame. While girls and women are often the primary targets, men can also be victims.
She said, “ FAME Foundation’s focus this year is on boys and men, aiming to break the chains and create safe spaces for survivors to speak out and seek support.
“ Survivors often carry the weight of their experiences, leading to a cycle of trauma. Understanding that the impact of GBV goes beyond physical scars, Ogunleye-Bello highlighted the importance of educating, empowering, and supporting survivors for a more equitable and just society.
To combat GBV, Ogunleye-Bello urged the unity of men, women, boys, and girls. She emphasized that silence perpetuates the cycle, urging everyone to lend their voices, listen without judgment, and support survivors on their healing journey.
“ FAME Foundation activities for this year’s 16 Days of Activism, including press conferences, school and community outreach, social media campaigns, and dialogues in Internally Displaced Persons camps engaging boys and men. These activities aim to spark conversations, challenge societal norms, and encourage meaningful action against gender-based violence.”
Calling for collective effort in the fight against GBV, Ogunleye-Bello urged individuals and organizations to unite and advocate for a world free from fear, discrimination, and violence.
She continues, “ Some victims of rape or other sexual violence incidents are male. It is estimated that approximately one in six men experienced sexual abuse during childhood. Historically, rape was thought to be, and defined as, a crime committed solely against females. This belief is still held in some parts of the world, but rape of males is now commonly criminalized and has been subject to more discussion than in the past.”
According to her, “ 87% of male victims of (completed or attempted) rape reported only male perpetrators while 82% of male victims of sexual coercion reported only female perpetrators. 53% of male victims of unwanted sexual contact reported only female perpetrators.” She added.