The New Initiative for Social Development, a non-governmental organisation committed to defending the rights of women, has lamented the rise of violence against women in some south west states.
The issue was the focus of a one-day workshop initiated by NISD and supported by DFID, which held in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
Ondo, Ogun and Ondo States were identified as states which either refused to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, or have their own versions of the VAPP Act.
“The statistics of violence against women in southwest is disturbing and this calls for urgent intervention lest we all become victims of it,” stated a communiqué signed by NISD Coordinator, Abiodun Oyeleye.
“At a time like this when a critical component of our society (women) faces difficulties assessing their rights under the Law, the VAPP Act 2015 explicitly tells them how and more importantly, how protection of victims or potential victims are enhanced through the protection order.”
Participants at workshop called on states yet to domesticate the law on violence against persons to do so without further delay.
They believe that it would help in curbing any gender based violence in the country.
They also frowned at situations where states having the law refused to implement it and making it look like not having it at all.
The workshop was to enlist the media support in propagating the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015.
Participants were drawn from media organizations (print and electronic) from Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti.
Others were the resource person and the head of DFID Lagos office, David Ukagwu, accompanied by his assistant, Margret Faboyo.
Participants observed that the VAPP Act is detailed, explicit and an improvement compared to other laws in Nigeria.
They also noted that it is a tool against infringement of rights of persons and women in particular.
The communiqué called for a sustained commitment from the media in promoting VAPP Act in their reportage and programming.
The workshop identified ignorance, stigmatization, lack of family courts, religious concerns and incompetent/untrained public officers as some of the challenges confronting the fight against violence against persons in Nigeria.
Mass production of copies of VAPP Act and getting reasonable copies sent to key stakeholders was recommended.
The DFID expressed its readiness to give technical policy direction and track impacts of whatever project that would improve the livelihood of the people, especially women.