The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, Tuesday, said curbing domestic violence requires the concerted and collective effort of all stakeholders, especially women leaders who double as mothers in their states.
Tallen who said this at a 2-day workshop on Domestic Violence tagged; “Curbing the Menace of Domestic Violence”, expressed the urgent desire to see a significant decline in the menace of domestic violence, which she said keeps increasing every day, leaving victims either greatly traumatized or even dead.
She stated that the workshop was designed to equip every participant with the requisite knowledge and skills to decisively put an end to the evil that is ‘targeted at dehumanizing our citizenry especially the women folk’, and urged women leaders to lead conversations to end menace.
While noting that domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors, she pointed out that it became really worrisome at the onset of the pandemic when there was a spike in the reported cases.
According to her, “Statistics has it that every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
“Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families. 7 million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred. More than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year. Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behaviour”.
She remarked that the presence of 374 ethnic groups in Nigeria’s 36 States means that cultural practices and gender norms differ, adding that there has to be a mind shift to correct these anomalies.
“As a mother and a woman, myself I request every participant to take this workshop seriously and decide to become agents of change in their states to combat the evil that domestic violence portends against our fellow women and their children.
“I am using this occasion to call on every Nigerian woman represented by the participants to take up this task and ensure that people are adequately educated and engage all the mechanisms provided to ensure that cases of domestic violence are not only frowned at but they are thoroughly dealt with so we can all be guaranteed a safe and secure environment for all”, she said.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Anthonia Ekpa in her remarks, noted that domestic violence affects both gender, adding however, that records show women are most affected.
She applauded the Prime Unique Women Initiatives for partnering with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in the 2-Day workshop on Domestic Violence, noting that the menace has escalated and serious action needs to be taken.
For her part, Dr. Mrs Folake Yobah, President/ Convener Prime Unique Women Initiative, disclosed that the Covid-19 pandemic increased the rate of domestic violence on women to more than 60%, adding that domestic violence does not affect women alone.
She stressed on the need to step up action against domestic violence of all kinds, urged citizens to always check their mental fitness, and commended the Minister of Women Affairs for her efforts.
The wife of the Nasarawa state Governor and the representatives of the wives of Kwara and Venue Governors, Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries from states attended the opening ceremony of the meeting.