Speak Out Against SGBV, NAWOJ President Tasks Teenagers

The President, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ), Comrade Ladi Bala, has tasked teenagers to always speak out on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

Comrade Bala stated this at a sensitisation seminar for teenagers at Merosa Academy, Apo, organised by Supporting Hands Initiative (SHI) in collaboration with Women against Violence and Exploitation Foundation, to mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence Against Women themed: Orange the World.

The president, who described SGBV as the most pervasive breach of human rights, harped on the need for young people to always be conscious of their environment and friends they keep.

“Avoid being lured to private areas by male or female friends; watch for when a man or woman is playfully touching your private areas; and learn to speak out when anyone molests or attempts to molest you. Don’t waste time in reporting anybody that wants to take advantage of them.

“Study hard to pass your examinations so the teachers do not take advantage of you in the process of wanting to help you pass examinations,” she stated.

In her welcome address, the coordinator, SHI, Mrs. Bassey Ita Ikpang, said the 16 days of activism, an international campaign that takes place from November 25, to December 10, every year indicates the prevalence of violence against woman worldwide.

She said the initiative chose the school for the celebration and tagged the campaign: ‘A World Without Her’ explained that speakers who are experts in their various fields were picked to educate and teach them all they should know about SGBV and how to they can protect themselves from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).

The coordinator expressed hope that at the end of the seminar the teenagers would understand SEA; be enlightened about the meaning and how to detect sexual misconduct.

“They will know how to relate with the male and female counterparts; where you should be and where you shouldn’t be; what you should wear and what you shouldn’t wear.

“To know the effects of sexual exploitation on those that have fallen victim; clarify the roles to play and actions to take when the suspect SEA; to instill confidence of speaking out what is in your mind concerning SEA; when you see something, say something.

“To understand that if it happens to anyone, it is not the end of life; to empathize with the victims/survivors and not stigmatize.

“To know where and who to report to; to know that you are all advocates who should disseminate information on SEA; why they must report incidents of SEA; as well as immediate assistance available to victims/survivors.”

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