A Yenagoa-based legal practitoner and founder of Do-Foundation, Barr. Mrs Dise Ogbise has advocated for more awareness to curb Gender Based Violence (GBV), in Bayelsa State and Nigeria as a whole.
Conceding that the frequency of occurrence of GBV has reduced in Bayelsa because of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law she insists that it has not stopped completely, “which is why more work needs to be done in terms of raising the level of awareness”.
While commending Governor Douye Diri for signing into law the violence against persons prohibition bill, she said it showed that the present government is passionate about the safety of its citizens and also committed in ending GBV in the state.
Ogbise noted that it was also a right step in setting up the gender response initiative team which she heads and called on non-governmental organization to equally join in the fight against GBV in Bayelsa.
The former Bayelsa State chairperson of the Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA), decried the recent killing of a man and his wife following a minor disagreement they had, saying the issue could have been amicably resolved.
“I felt bad when the story of the man that killed his wife and committed suicide got to me, I felt so terrible, because the needless casualties could have been averted if they had gone to the right authority or appropriate organization to resolve the issue.
“Sometime this year we also had a case of a woman that was beaten to death by her partner, who she was co-habiting with and that also broke my heart. I hate to hear such stories because these issues could have been resolved. Sometimes we feel like we are talking but people are not listening to us but prefer taking laws into their hands, which is very bad”, she said.
She explained that her Do-Foundation is an NGO that focuses on justice, security and development in the society, adding that their belief is that “if the society is just, then we are sure of a secured society and when the society is secured we’ll be sure of a developed Nigeria and the world”.
Continuning, she stated that: “While I was chairperson of FIDA in the state, I looked at the issues of gender-based violence and realized that one organization alone cannot deal with the issues of gender-based violence and it led to the creation of Do-Foundation in 2017.
“We have an ongoing campaign called Speak Up campaign, which has created more awareness on the issues of gender-based violence. It has enabled people speak up, a lot of survivors speak up now.
“With this campaign we go to different schools to create awareness about gender-based violence, even to local communities to encourage the men to speak up too, because it is only when people speak up they can deal with the issues they have.
“Because of our commitment against GBV, we have been able to collaborate with the Goldcoast Developmental Foundation and many other reputable and highly respected foundations. With the collaborations, we have been able to rehabilitate some of the survivors, some have gone back to school, others have learnt skills that have built their capacities.
“I must specifically thank the Goldcoast Developmental Foundation, they have been our strength, the foundation has been supportive of our activities even with the rehabilitation process of survivors.
“We also work with the government of Bayelsa State and other professional bodies in and outside Bayelsa State. So, in a nutshell, most of our activities are self-funded but we have people who believe in what we do as an organization and we get some support from those individuals”. Ogbise added.