By Kano Focus
A civil society group, Rescue the Women Foundation (REWOFO) has advocated for the inclusion of more women in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the judiciary in order to effectively tackle the menace of rape, domestic and gender-based violence.
This suggestion was offered by the group’s founder Salim Wada Usman on Saturday, during the celebration of the group’s third anniversary in Kano.
Speaking under the theme “The Journey for Sustainable Development”, Mr Usman said the group seeks to engage other civil society groups, government and the private sector to end violence against women and children.
“We will work with survivors to empower them, making sure their experiences are taken into consideration in the development of responses; and working with those women and girls who suffer multiple and intersecting forms of violence who are particularly vulnerable,” he said.
He maintained that a rape survivor must have a rapid access to a health clinic that can administer emergency medical care, including treatment to prevent HIV and unintended pregnancies and counseling.
Wada further emphasized the need to bring an end to domestic violence especially within married couple. He added that a woman who is beaten by her husband must have some place to go with her children to enjoy safety, sanity and shelter.
“A victim of violence must have confidence that when she files a police report, she will receive justice and the perpetrator will be punished.” Wada affirmed
According to Mr Usman, impunity is the main factor preventing the successful prosecution of perpetrators of violence against women and children.
“When it comes to the prosecution of offenders, we know that ending impunity means that laws must be enforced.
“Women must have access to the police to file a criminal report and receive legal advice and protection orders. The response to violence must be immediate, coordinated and effective so that crimes are punished and justice is secured.
“Courts and the justice system must be accessible and responsive to criminal and civil matters relating to violence against women. Women must be informed of their legal rights and supported to navigate the legal system.
“And for this, we need more women police officers, prosecutors and judges, because we know that women serving on the front lines of justice strengthen justice for women and children,” he said.