Lawyers seek speedy justice for sexual, gender-based violence  

Lawyers Alert, an NGO on Friday called for speedy justice for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

The Executive Director of the group, Barrister Rommy Mom, made this call at a stakeholder’s meeting for the implementation of Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) and Administration of Criminal Justice Law(ACJ) in Abuja.

The meeting had participants drawn from five states of Bauchi, Benue, Enugu, Kaduna, Osun and the FCT.

Barister Mom said there is a need for the court to begin to treat sexual and gender-based violence issues with the promptness and speed they deserve in society.

” Sometimes we neglect the chain reaction that comes out of the episode of gender-based violence. We want all stakeholders to begin to network together to make a meaningful impact in the society”.

In the same vein, he called for the active enactment of the Violence Against Persons. Prohibition and also the administration of criminal justice in the cluster states.

“The two federal laws have been domesticated but unfortunately most of the states that domesticated the laws have not activated them in reality. There is a need to set up a committee that would oversee the implementation of the law. We need to create special courts and set up sexual referral centres”.

The Gender-Based Violence Desk Officer at the Ministry of Justice Osun State, Mrs Alarape added that the state government ensures that there is speedy justice for those who have gone through gender-based violence.

” It is our mandate and responsibility to ensure that the survivors get the necessary justice for different forms of violence. We also ensure that they get back on their feet.

“We also provide emotional support for those who have gone through different trauma”.

She added that rehabilitation centre for survivors of gender-based violence was lacking in the state. 

“There is a clinic at the women and children affairs of Osun state where psychological support is given to victims of gender-based violence”. 

Alarape also advised any individual going through any form of gender-based violence to speak out and seek moral support from professionals.

“Violence can kill, either physically, emotionally or financially. The person experiencing violence may suffer the consequences for the rest of his or her level, if not given the right support system”.

Chief Magistrate Bauchi State High Court, Emmanuel Danjuma said there is an urgent need to fast-track the trials in the state.

” What we are trying to do is to introduce new laws that have to do with magistrate administration. We are also reducing some of the hurdles that are usually associated with criminal trials in court”.

He added that there should be a legal framework guiding gender-based violence in the state.

Lawyers Alert is a human right organization working on a project to increase access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Right (SRHR) services for Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Nigeria.  

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