Delta State, yesterday, reiterated its commitment to applying necessary measures against child abuse and domestic violence against children in the state.
Commissioner for Secondary Education, Mrs. Rose Ezewu, stated this while flagging off a sensitisation campaign on child abuse and other related crimes at Government Model Secondary School in Asaba.
The Commissioner, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Augustine Oghoro, said the exercise was organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice in the state.
Ezewu explained that child abuse and other related crimes had assumed worrisome dimension.
She said there were cases in connection with such abuses in courts of law across the state, pointing out that the cases ranged from sexual abuse and molestation to other forms of domestic violence against children.
The commissioner said the theme for the campaign, “See Something, Say Something (Speak Out )” was apt, noting that most of the victims had withdrawn and were unable to speak out on the incidents.
Ezewu further explained that from available statistics, one out of three girls and one out of five boys had been victims of such abuses before the age of 18, adding that it had resulted in lack of confidence in themselves and have had negative impacts on their academic performance.
She stated that the campaign was aimed at disseminating relevant information to school age children to mitigate their exposure to the heinous crime and to show how to provide necessary information towards seek redress in court against perpetrators, who, according to him, may either be their parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties and other relatives and people in their neighbourhood.
Earlier, the Director of Sexual Offences in the Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Uche Akamagwuna, emphasised that the rate of sexual violence was alarming in recent times, adding that such sexual violence could occur at home and in school.
Akamagwuna disclosed that there were 10 sexual violence-related cases at the Federal High in the state, including fathers raping their daughters and other individuals involved in raping and domestic violence, adding that the punishment for rape was life imprisonment.”
She advised the children to always report any individual touching or attempting to touch their private parts to the ministries of Basic and Secondary Education and Justice, or call her on her cell phone for necessary actions
Akamagwuna also identified female genital mutilation as another form of violence against women and that wife battering was inclusive.