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Abia ranks highest on GBV rating among 5 South-Eastern states - NHRC

GBV cases is highest in Abia because of peculiar custom and tradition of the people and non-challant attitude of parents in protecting their daughters.

Abia ranks highest on GBV rating among 5 South-Eastern states - NHRC [Inclusive News Network]

The NHRC Coordinator in Abia, Mrs Uche Nwokocha, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Thursday. Nwokocha expressed concern over the ugly development.

She spoke in observance of this year’s 16 Days Activism Against Gender Based Violence on Women and Girls, with the theme, “Invest to End Violence Against Women and Girls”.

She described GBV as “a violence directed against a person because of that person’s gender or violence that affects persons of a particular gender, disproportionately”.

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Nwokocha, a former NHRC Coordinator in the South-East, said, “I can say authoritatively, without mincing words, that GBV is on the increase in Abia.”

According to her, GBV cases is highest in Abia because of the peculiar custom and tradition of the people, non-challant attitude of parents in protecting their daughters, and the reluctance of families and women to pursue GBV cases.

“It is something we do not see in other states of the South-East,” she said.

The NHRC boss decried the rising wave of GBV between 2022 and 2023, as reported to the commission. She said that the increase in the reported cases might not be unconnected with the rate of awareness created by the commission, when it started operation in Abia.

Nwokocha, a lawyer, cautioned women against keeping abusive relationships. She added: “In Abia, a lot women and girls stay in a relationship that is not properly documented.

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“They are not legitimately married to the man they are living with and they are suffering in it.

“I keep telling those that come to us that proper marriage is protected under the law and that there should be a bride price that is paid.”

She called for the full implementation of the state’s Female Persons Right of Inheritance Property Law 2022 and Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law 2020, to protect the rights of women and girls.

Nwokocha threw more light on the “16 Days of Activism Against GBV”, describing it as “a conscience awakening campaign, used by individuals, groups and institutions around the world, to call for prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls”.

She said that the commission and its partners had embarked on advocacy visits to relevant stakeholders to know what their institutions and organisations were doing to reduce violence against women and girls.

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