As WARIF Stages 10km Walk To Campaign Against Sexual Violence, Trafficking
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), in collaboration with the United States Consulate General Lagos, yesterday staged a 10km walk tagged: ‘No Tolerance March’, along the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge to create awareness against sexual violence and trafficking of women in Nigeria in commemoration of the foundation’s fifth anniversary and this year’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
The Director, WARIF, Dr. Kemi Dasilva-Ibru, said the 16 days of activism against Gender-based Violence is an international campaign to end violence against women and girls, which runs yearly from November 25 to December 10. She stated that much still needs to be done, as the number of domestic violence cases has increased, due to the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dasilva-Ibru said: “Unfortunately, the narrative has worsened, as we are all aware during the COVID pandemic.
There were mandatory lockdowns, and more girls and women were forced to stay home to stem the spread of the virus. As a result of that, there was an increase in the rate of domestic violence and sexual violence at the WARIF Centre. We had a 64 per cent increase in calls in the first lockdown back in March of 2020. And since then, we’ve had 20 per cent increase in the number of girls and women that visit the centre.”
Asking that victims should be given a platform to speak out, name their abuser and not stigmatised or ostracised, he urged the community to stand against sexual violence
The United States Consul General to Lagos, Ms, Claire Pierangelo, in her welcome address, commended WARIF for its efforts towards the initiative, encouraging Nigerians to create constant awareness on sexual violence.
The campaigners trekked from Quest Filling Station, Lekki through Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge back to Admiralty Way.