January 21, 2022

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Activist Condemns Escalating Rate Of Rape, Incest In Rivers

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Edith CHUKU

Following the call by Women groups in Nigeria for a strengthened action against every form of violence, with particular concern on gender based violence against women and girls, a Rights Activist in Rivers State, Cecilia Green, has bemoaned the increasing rate of rape, which she said has resulted to rise in adolescent pregnancy.

The women and girls rights activist also condemned cases she described as outrageous and baffling, wondering why a male relative; father or brother will choose to have sexual intercourse with his female relative.

She frowned that some teenage girls are been lured by men with Indomie, biscuits and edible, simply because they are not contented with what their parents could provide for them.

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Green who made these assertions during her sensitization programme on, “dangers of premarital sex” held December 19, at the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state said, “women who go through gender based violence lose their self-esteem and have their emotional health affected. As we continue to call for a definite stand against sexual and gender based violence in Nigeria in order to end this menace, it is necessary to consider a defence mechanism.”

She said women and girls are instrumental and play very vital roles in the development of the nation at all levels, adding that without women, society will not develop and family will not grow.

Green quoted World Health Organisation, WHO, as saying that approximately 12 million girls aged 15 to 19 years and at least 777,000 girls under 15 years give birth each year in developing regions, adding that over 10 million of adolescent pregnancies are unintended, as a result of rape.

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“Women’s rights group have continued to fight for full-fledged rights to fair treatment of women and girls in their families, work place, society and pursuit of reproductive and sexual freedom.

“While we continue to appeal to the government of the day to take a definite stand to intensify their effort in the fight against sexual and gender based violence in Nigeria, targeted against women and girls, as well as provide maximum protection, effective remedies such as educational, counseling, health, shelter and other kinds of remedies for victims, we also see the need to arm ourselves before these happens.

“We want to encourage you to avoid lonely areas, appeal to parents to stop sending their young daughters on errands late in the evening, don’t seat on a man’s laps no matter who he is, don’t respond to any man who calls you his wife, shout and run away when a man tries to hold or touch your body, shout, and if you have been a victim, come to us for justice.”

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While presenting sanitary pads to over fifty girls in attendance, she described adolescent pregnancy as pregnancy in a female between the ages of 14 to 20, adding that it increases when girls are denied the right to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and well-being.

She encouraged the female present to take responsibility and make their own decisions about their bodies and futures, even as she urged them to embrace education and shun premarital sex.

She continued that, “five years back, the number of teenage pregnancy was less, being but now, because of how vulnerable some girls are; house maids, sales girls, even daughters are being defiled, sexually abused by men, teenage pregnancy has become alarming.”

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