Project Alert, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has commenced the training of civil society organisations (CSOs) across communities in Sokoto State on ways to report and handle sexual abuse cases as well as referrals of survivors.
Dr Muddassir Ahmad-Gado, the group’s Focal Person, disclosed this at the State Level Sensitisation Workshop on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria, on Wednesday, in Sokoto.
He said that community groups were being trained on ways to offer services and referrals of survivors and other forms of violence against women.
Ahmad-Gado added that the organisation was working in partnership with the Spotlight Initiative Project to build the capacity of community groups, CSOs and Community-Based Organisations (CBOs).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Spotlight Initiative is a project sponsored by the European Union, UNICEF, the Federal Government, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNESCO.
He said that the targeted persons were equipped with knowledge on the operation of the newly-established sexual referral centre.
“We reached out and build capacity of local CSOs and CBOs in Sokoto South, Bodinga, Dange Shuni, Goronyo, Binji and Isa local government areas of the state.
“The efforts will be continued and they are aimed at equipping groups to effectively assist victims of sexual and gender-based violence in their communities,” Ahmad-Gado said.
He enjoined the beneficiaries to adhere to the techniques and share knowledge and experiences in order to achieve maximum success.
In his lecture, Dr Auwal Ahmad, dwelled on the causes and avenues that could prompt gender-based violence, emphasising the need for collective efforts against the menace.
Ahmad, who is an officer from Project Alert, said that perpetrators were mostly close relations and associates, stressing, therefore, that more cautionary and supervisory measures needed to be observed.
He said that the impacts of gender-based violence affected survivors’ behaviours, growth and development as well as their psychological wellbeing.
The Permanent Secretary, Sokoto State Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Hajia A’isha Dantsoho, said that strategies and policies had been put in place to check the ugly trend.
Dantsoho urged CSOs to assist relevant agencies in checkmating the menace by exposing perpetrators and monitoring the survivors.
She said that that the state government, in collaboration with some international donor agencies, had established a sexual assault referral centre to provide immediate and long term remedies for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Islamic scholars, representatives of the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Vigilate groups and others made presentations.
NAN also report that the NGO has Dr Josephine Effah-Chukwuma as its Executive Director and that five organisations were engaged in the implementation of the spotlight project, in collaboration with government agencies.