NGO, CEWHIN, Strengthens Support For Gender-Based Violence’s Survivors

The Centre for Women’s Health and Information (CEWHIN) with Support from Ford Foundation successfully completed a two-year project on Strengthening Access to Community-Based Psychosocial Support for Survivors of Violence Against Women and Girls including persons with disabilities in Ogun, Oyo, and Osun states.

The project aimed to improve the response system for providing psychosocial support and mitigating the mental health effects of VAWG/SGBV at the community level.

The Centre held an accountability and impact review session with key stakeholders in Ogun state to communicate the project’s outcomes and learnings, as well as figure a way forward to ensure there is continuous effort to support survivors of Gender Based Violence.

Odukoya said the project was carried out in three states (Ogun, Oyo and Osun) with a focus on women and girls with a baseline survey which exposed the extent of gender-based violence in the three selected states.

The Director of Administration of CEWHIN, Atinuke Odukoya had earlier reported that research was carried out in three states in the southwest; Ogun, Oyo and Osun which revealed that incest is rampant in Osun, use of diabolical means among pupils for sex is rampant in Ogun state while domestic violence is rampant among the people of Oyo state.

She lamented that in Ogun state, the issue of gender- based violence within the school setting; especially through the use of diabolical means by secondary school students to obtain sex from either colleagues or teachers is alarming.

During the accountability session, the Director of Women Empowerment Services, Ministry of Women Affairs, Wonuola Kazeem, disclosed that the Ogun State Government has revealed that it has empowered 200 girls in public secondary schools with teargas canisters to help them fight against sexual assaulters.

She added that the state government has also visited 90 schools to empower the students and sensitize them.

According to her, “Government is making efforts to reduce this gender-based violence in schools, and during our sensitization in school, we’ve equally educated and empowered the girls on gender-based violence and how to reduce both harassment and bullying in schools”.

Atinuke Odukoya shared the recorded success of the project across three states with emphasis on capacity building, advocacy, awareness creation, and community-level interventions. The project provided training for 17 trainers and 248 community psychosocial first aiders (CPFAs) from various institutions, including CSOs/CBOs, school-based guidance counsellors, and religious leaders.

521 survivors accessed psychosocial first aid through the trained CPFAs, and the project achieved several outcomes, including increased knowledge of VAWG prevention and decreased VAWG prevalence.

Atinuke commends the efforts of all stakeholders involved, giving credence to the Ministry of Women Affairs for actively working with the centre to strengthen the capacity of the Area Officers, and Mrs Moji Akinsanya of Women for Peace & Gender Equality Initiative amongst other participants.

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