In commemoration of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Diatom Impact, an arm of Platform Capital Group has announced the launch of the HEART Initiative, an initiative that offers support to victims of gender-based violence.
With the HEART Initiative, the group seeks to provide direct financial assistance to women seeking refuge from domestic violence and sexual abuse. This will help their “transition into independence,” the group representative said.
Anna Bethune, the director of Impact and Research, said women remain in abusive relationships majorly because of financial dependence on their abusers.
“We know why women who have been abused in their relationships choose to stay. In many cases, it is because they do not feel economically empowered to leave. Despite the psychological and emotional trauma that they have experienced, they need to ensure that they and their children can eat and have shelter. The HEART Initiative exists to give them back that choice,” she said.
Funds in the Initiative will be used to offset major costs that would otherwise have forced the abused into depending on her abuser for financial support, including rent, children’s tuition, and emergency services, she added.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), is a global campaign for the elimination of violence against women and girls. The campaign holds from November 25 to 10 December every year.
During this period, individuals and organisations around the world advocate for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
In its capacity, Diatom Impact, with support from Platform Capital Group, said it will support women undergoing domestic and sexual-based violence to attain the financial independence they need to be free from their abusers.
According to Akintoye Akindele, founder, Platform Capital Group, “violence in relationships is a sign of a broken society and this must be rooted out at all costs.”
He said the funds in the initiative will help victims of domestic violence transit and rebuild their lives.
In June, Women Affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen, said that the cases of abuse against women and children tripled during the COVID-19 lockdown as victims were trapped at home.
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The minister said 3,600 rape cases were recorded during the lockdown, describing the situation as a “surge in cases of rape and gender-based violence.”
According to the United Nations, GBV increased by 20 per cent worldwide during COVID-19 lockdown because women across the world were forced to stay at home with their abusive partners. The UN Population Fund predicted that an estimated 15 million cases of intimate partner violence could occur within six months of the lockdown.
With the increase in gender-based violence in Nigeria, Diatom Impact said more women need financial assistance, adding that about 2.58 million women in Nigeria need protection from GBV, according to the UN.
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