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Combating Sexual Violence: Using The Media as a Tool

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With the increasing rate of sexual violence and assault on women and the girl child and the relatively increasing rate of injustice in such cases, Hacey Health Initiative, an NGO committed to Women and girl child rights activism has yet again decided to lend its voice to the cry for a clampdown on perpetrators of Sexual assaults and gender-based violence.

Speaking at a Press briefing to mark the flag off of the organization’s campaign in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Rhoda Robinson, the group’s Director for Gender and Development enjoined pressmen and other media practitioners to take the fight against gender-based violence upon themselves and give prominence to cases of sexual violence on their platforms.

Rhoda spoke extensively on ways through which the media can be a powerful tool in the war against sexual assault and emphasized on the fact that there are already enabling laws and policies in place in the country and what is lacking is awareness of these laws and a proper judiciary system.

She further emphasized on the need for preventive reporting, considering the fact that most media houses are too short of staff to follow stories of sexual violations from beginning to the end and spoke of every man’s proximity to potential cases of sexual violence as enough motivation for media practitioners to lend their voices to the campaign.

“Media people should put themselves in the shoes of those people. If it happens to your sister, how would you feel? You already have this tool; how would you react with it if the person affected is close to you?” She said.

On the blaming of victims of sexual assaults, Rhoda stressed that Media practitioners should understand that the victim is never at fault in any of such cases and that there is no justification for assaults.

She said; “The universal rule is that the victim is never at fault, if I am walking naked, you can beat me that I don’t have home training, but you cannot rape me, because there is no justification for it. And when we start giving excuses it validates the incidence.”

Prior to the commencement of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is billed to run from the 25th of November till the 10th of December, Hacey involved staff, volunteers and celebrities in the #ICommitToHer challenge on Social Media uploading videos of themselves affirming their commitment in the fight for the eradication of every form of violence against women and girls.

Hacey is currently working at grassroot levels across the country through community leaders, monarchs, educational institutions and its new ambassadors in the entertainment industry; Grace Edwin Okon, Ngozi Nwosu, Layole Oyatogun and Lisa Omorodion to ensure that its goal of improving the health and productivity of under-served population in Africa is achieved.

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