Women coalition raises alarm over defilement, wife battery increase in Ebonyi

Ruth Oginyi

A coalition of Ezza Women Organizations, Ebonyi State, Monday expressed worry over the increase in rape, defilement, and wife battery in the state.

The Coalition said there was an upsurge of the acts during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been on a steady increase in the state.

They made this known during a one-day advocacy meeting for service providers on gender-based violence prevention and responses an event supported by SaferWorld, and Women international league for peace and freedom, Nigeria.

Speaking at the advocacy meeting in Abakaliki, the Coordinator of the women’s Coalition, Uroh Esther Nnachi noted that in the Ezza South Local Government Area of the state, the coalition has been fighting violence against women, children, girls, and even men and called on the service providers to report any case of the violence to the women for immediate action.

“There has been an increased rate of violence against women and children, incidents of rape, wife battery, and other forms of violence in the community and that is why we have invited you people so that in your various workplaces, you can report all forms of violence to us.

“If you look at our communities, the rate of girl child defilement is on the increase. If you go to the hospital, there is no week they don’t bring a child of 9 years, 7 years, 6 years as the case may be that a boy of 20 years defiled her. Asked me what a boy of 20 years is looking for in a girl child that is 7 years, 8, 9. And if there are any means the case is reported, what the people will say is let’s settle out of court”, she said.

“In Ezza South, we are working with five communities; Amauzu, Ezzama, Amagu, Onueke Urban, and Ikwuato Idembia and our thematic area is on Gender-Based Violence and women in politics”.

Austin Onwe, a Resource Person at the meeting, regretted that child marriage has also been on the increase in the state and blamed parents for it.

Onwe, said some parents have promoted child marriage by compelling their children to marry at an early stage when the children have not reached the age they can make decisions of their own.

Some Participants including Rev. Oyoke Vincent chairman GBV task force in Ezza south and Mr. Ukpabi Patrick principal of MJSS Ezzama in their views suggested that the training be expanded to accommodate more stakeholders that would contribute to the fight against gbv in Ezza nation.

Also, Mrs. Mpkuma Agnes and chief Adagba Simeon said the meeting has given them the knowledge on how to assist and support GBV survivors in their localities.

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