As part of events marking this year’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, staged an enlightenment campaign on the effects of violence against women and girls at an Abuja secondary school.
With the 2022 campaign having a theme, “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”, senior secondary students of Excellent Academy, Bwari, Abuja, at the weekend benefitted from one of the many advocacies PRIMORG had embarked on, especially on the need to enlighten young Nigerians against the menace of gender-based violence.
Speaking during the event, PRIMORG’s Program Manager, Adaobi Obiabunmuo revealed that the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs till December 10, which is Human Rights Day.
Obiabunmuo warned the students and Nigerians not to be silent when they face any form of gender-based violence, describing the culture of silence among Nigerians as ‘very dangerous’.
She noted that bringing the campaign to the school is part of PRIMORG’s contribution to the fight against violence against women and girls.
“PRIMORG has seen the need to take the conversation to younger people with the focus centered on the need to speak up against gender-based violence; the culture of silence amongst families and survivors of gender-based violence has continued to embolden culprits of gender-based violence to continue in their violent act.”
Towing the same line, Lawyer, and Human Rights Activist, Oluwatoyinoyin Falaiye, Lawyer, branded silence as the biggest enabler of gender-based violence, noting that the perpetrators of gender-based violence often take advantage of the naivety and inability of their victims to speak up.
Falaiye shared several real-life stories of gender-based violence and its effect on victims. And gave them (students) tips on detecting a potential gender-based violence perpetrator and how to survive it in case it happens.
“Perpetrators of gender-based violence will always tell you not to share your story with anyone—the same thing with bullying, same with rape, and so on.
“This is the age of awareness. This is the age you know that when you see somebody going through a bad act, you have to speak up,
“if your father is bullying your mother, you can speak up. If you are being abused, you have to speak up – you can actually tell someone.
“There are non-governmental organizations like PRIMORG that you can talk to, phone lines you can call, and help will get to you.
“You can also run to a police station and make a report. You can run to a police station nearest to you and make a report. You can reach any government-owned welfare office and make a complaint. The bottom line is that you won’t be silent, rather speak up,” she advised.
On his part, The Proprietor of Excellent Academy, Imudia Graham, lauded PRIMORG for choosing the school while expressing delight at the focus on enlightening the students against gender-based violence.
His words: “Gender-Based Violence is real. It happens almost daily, and if someone is informed, they stand a good chance of being transformed to overcome the ugly act.
“The information PRIMORG has brought to our students today will help them in their life journey. So I thank you (PRIMORG), and we appreciate the time, resources, and energy put into this advocacy.” Graham stated.
PRIMORG has hosted radio programmes and engaged Nigerians on social media since the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence commenced.