The campaign against child abuse and gender-based violence at the weekend received a boost as stakeholders converged at Ogunu Community town hall in Warri South Local Government Area to sensitize the people on the protection of their children against abuse of any kind.
Our correspondent reports that the one-day sensitisation programme was a follow up to the recent alleged case of defilement of a three-year-old girl at the Ogunu community.
The issue of child abuse and gender-based violence has been on the increase in recent years in Nigeria leaving the victims to go through traumatic experiences.
As part of measures in addressing the ugly trend, some concerned stakeholders from the global network for children and women development in partnership with another group which focused on efforts against Child Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and the International Federation of Women Lawyers on Saturday carried out a one-day sensitisation programme at Ogunu community to educate the people on the dangers of child abuse and gender-based violence.
Mrs Endurance Nwachukwu of a global network for children and women development while addressing residents of the community said child abuse and gender-based violence occurred most in the rural areas coupled with the alleged case of a three-year-old girl that was defiled in their community.
She emphasised that there was the need for parents and guardians in both urban and rural areas to be knowledgeable on child abuse and gender-based violence stressing that it was high time for the government and all concerned stakeholders to put an end to all forms of child abuse and gender-based violence in society.
Dr Akanigha Bernard of the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, who spoke on childhood sexual abuse and gender-based violence said that children who are abused often suffer both physically and mentally.
For her part, Mrs Aikpokpo Martins from the Ministry of Justice implored parents and guardians whose children and wards are abused to report such cases rather than keeping silent.
The Vice-Chairman of Ogunu community, Mr Godbless Ekure thanked the organisers for the sensitisation programme which will no small measure expose the people to steps to take to curb the menace of child abuse and gender-based violence.
Residents of Ogunu community had the opportunity to ask questions which were answered during the one-day sensitization programme on child abuse and gender-based violence.