MBIA: 941 Cases Recorded on Gendar-Based Violence
Mariama Johm, advocacy and campaign officer at Network against Gender Based Violence (NGBV) said the recent number recorded on gender based violence has scaled up to 941 cases from 2014 to 2018.
The statistics collected from Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, Serrekunda General Hospital, Bundung Maternal and Child Care Hospital, Bansang Hospital and the police indicated that 75% of the victims are school-going children.
“This is manifesting that gender based violence most of the time, it is women and girls that are affected in our communities as several researches have manifested that by women’s Bureau and UNICEF mapping that was done”. Johm made these revelations recently during a press conference at the Union’s head office in Kanifing.
Johm stated that out of the 941 cases reported, 75% of them are school-going girls. This, she said shows an alarming rate of sexual violence which is either happening in the community or in the schools.
Corporal punishment is prohibited as a sentence for crimes in section 220(9) of the children’s Act 2005 which states that a court shall not make an order subjecting a child to corporal punishment.
Previously, corporal punishment (whipping) was lawful as a sentence under the Criminal Code 1965. She further revealed that her network partnered with Gambia Teacher’s Union to ensure safe spaces where children can realize their full potentials.
Johm explained that after they collect the data from the five institutions she mentioned, the network has what they call ‘survivors scope’ which was created 2 months ago. Under this scope, they work with their partnered ministries i.e. the ministry of Justice, and Health to provide the services needed to survivors of Gender based Violence.
“All we do is to facilitate and give them the environment, she stated. “We all have our limitations.”
For her part, Joana Mendy, Program officer Forum for African Women Educationist Gambia chapter, said, gender based violence often stop girls from realizing their potentials which affects their health, security and dignity in the society they live.
She said her institution established clubs in schools where they trained students on how to be able to identify what problems they may face in school or in their homes so as to wipe out school related Gender base violence.
“These problems can be from the homes to the school or from the school to the homes.”
She added that her institution also works with Mother’s Club and trained them on women and children’s Rights and Gender Based Violence. “We try to empower them to be able to work as women in the community to solve problems of gender based violence especially wife battering and all of such.”
By Adam Drammeh.