The First Lady of Bayelsa State, Dr Gloria Diri has renewed her call for community leaders, parents, care givers and other critical stakeholders to join in the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV), by protecting their children and wards against all forms of vices in society.
Mrs Diri made the call in Yenagoa, before the departure of members of the Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT), for its regular awareness campaigns to Imiringi Community in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
The GRIT team has been on a tour across schools and communities in the state for the sensitization on the dangers of GBV and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
She said schools will soon go on vacation and as such parents should take extra caution to guard their children, noting that most incidents of sexual abuse are pepertrated by family and friends who provide care to the innocent children.
The First Lady, who expressed concern over the increasing rate of connivance between parents of victims and survivors of GBV and families of pepertrators lamented that out of court settlement after incidents of rape and defilement is impeding the fight against GBV and SGBV.
She maintained that the state government is taking a holistic approach in the fight against GBV and SGBV as the required legislations have been put in place, hence offenders will not go unpunished.
The governor’s wife therefore advised community leaders and parents to take the responsibility of protecting their children and not sheild offenders.
Speaking during the Imiringi Town Hall Sensitization with Men, Women and Youths of the Community, the GRIT team enlightened them on the need to always seek medical and psychological help.
The team also tasked the people to take measures including legal redress for justice to be served where there are established cases of rape, defilement, child abuse and other forms of GBV.
GRIT laid emphasis on the need for parents and children to speak, as well as seek assistance from them whenever there is a need.
Earlier, the GRIT led by its Secretary, Mr. Inatimi Odio paid homage to the Paramount Ruler of Imiringi Community, His Highness Lucky Chukuige, his cabinet, and opinion leaders.
They also had an interactive session with students of Mater Dei High School, Imiringi, where students were educated on steps to take when their rights are infringed upon.