Wife of Osun State Governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola has revealed that violence against women can lead to depression and substance abuse by the victims . She made the statement on Thursday at the inauguration of the Osun Gender-Based Violence Management Committee, and its operations.
Commenting on the effect of violence on women, Mrs Oyetola said
violence leaves women and girls at the risk of developing depression, resort to abusive substance use and its attendant complications, becoming suicidal and indeed death in many cases.
Governor of the State of Osun, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, while inaugurating members of the Committre at the State Government House, said the event was in furtherance of the efforts of the State Government at ridding the State of Osun of crimes and to ensure that the fundamental human rights of women is protected.
Governor Oyetola said the event was another step towards responsible security provision as it will afford the State an umbrella for the holistic management of gender-related crimes in a way that will protect women ad children.
According to Oyetola: “Women and children constitue a huge percentage of our population and are critical to the sustainable socio-economic development of the State. They must therefore not only be protected from molestation, rape and other forms of violence towards women but be well positioned and encouraged to play these critical roles in our collective interest as a people.
“In achieving these laudable objectives, we have put together experienced, committed and peace-loving men and women to serve in this Committee. I have no doubt in my mind that their combined wealth of experience will deliver their well-set objectives and further bolster our award-winning profile as a peaceful State.
“The success of this Committee would be largely measured by the level of improvements in the lives of our female folks going forward. The task before it is therefore a daunting and crucial one as it is a critical part of the provision of security and welfare of the people, which is the primary purpose of government. And our administration has been doing a good job to sustain the State’s envious position as the most peaceful State in Nigeria”, Oyetola said.
He continued by charging the Committee to Ensure Justice for victims of rape and other Gender-Based Violence, and render adequate support services to them.
He added: “A peaceful Osun where every citizen will enjoy their rights and respect our men and women who are critical to a future we all desire is the dream of our administration; and it is non-negotiable. All hands must therefore be on deck to achieve this task”.
In her keynote address, the wife of the Governor of the State of Osun, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, said the issue of gender-based violence, with women and girls being disproportionately affected, has been a major social problem and health concern in Nigeria today.
Mrs Oyetola said, “We have recently been flooded with reports and news about rapes in almost every state of the federation. Yet rape is just one manifestation of gender-based violence acts. Violence of this nature are diverse and socially aggravating. They are injurious and sometimes end in termination of life of the victims”.
In commending the efforts of the State Government in addressing Gender-Based Violence issue over time, she said: “I commend the State Government for the proactive efforts of also establishing Sexual Assault Referral Center at Kelebe area of Osogbo. It is a good step to responding and treating rape and sexual violence among others. Recently, the State also established the Women Clinic which is domiciled at the State Ministry of Women and Children affairs. These are some of the facilities that will be made use of by this committee.”
She therefore gave an assurance of the Committee’s commitment commitment to the task ahead, adding that plans are already being advanced on building the necessary capacity of members to be able to effectively tackle the terms of reference.
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Women, Children and Social Affairs, Barrister Bukola Olaboopo, said the current horrific pattern and dastardly nature of harassment being witnessed across the states of the federation has raised much concerns and called for urgent action.
She added that the traumatic effect of this menace on victims is too huge to be ignored, and that it is in furtherance of this that this initiative is being birthed in the State.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu, said the society is characterised with people with perverse minds everywhere, and the rate of gender-based violence has reached an alarming point, adding that people of sound mind have no reason to engage in such acts.
He therefore recommended engagement of psychiatric processes in the management of the issue of Gender-Based Violence in the State, adding that the State has an array of professionals that could provide services in this regard.
The Commissioner for Justice, Hon Femi Akande, said the issue of violence against the female gender has become a persistent problem, and that there is need to break the culture of silence through the provision of information and education to both gender, as part of the methodologies to address the situation.
The Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Timothy Owoeye, in his goodwill message, said the Committee’s objectives if properly implemented, would bring drastic attitudinal change and social order in the State.
He also lauded the State’s Commissioner of Police on his stand not to tolerate amicable settlement between family of offenders and victims of their families henceforth.