• Monday, July 15, 2024
businessday logo


Hacey Heath Initiative launches ‘Media Against Sexual Violence’ campaign

sexual violence against women

Hacey Health Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, has launched a media initiative aimed at tackling sexual harassment and violence against women in Nigeria.

During the unveiling of the campaign tagged Media against ‘Sexual Violence campaign,’ Jennifer Foltz, deputy public affairs officer noted that preventing and responding to gender-based violence is a cornerstone of the U.S. Government’s commitment to advancing human rights and promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

According to her, violence, ranging from sexual, emotional or psychological violence, is often experienced at home by young women and girls and the fact that violence has been accepted as a ‘private affair’ often stops other people from intervening and disallows girls and young women from reporting cases of violence.

She said the United States is ready to promote any course that is geared towards creating more awareness of the danger of sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

Earlier in her remark, Rhoda Robinson, executive director of Hacey Health Initiative said the campaign is part of activities commemorating the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence leading up to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) on November 25.

Robinson said the media is expected to play a key role when it comes to the campaign towards eradicating sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women and children.

“Information that is published or broadcast constitutes one of the major channels of influence on social norms regarding sexual assault. By covering a range of events related to sexual assault, the media can help create a greater understanding of what sexual assault is and why it is unacceptable,” she said.

“This approach fosters public attitudes of non-tolerance toward this type of violence,” she added.

Akeem Jimoh, executive director of Development Communication Network, said the purpose is to raise awareness among media professionals and spokespersons about the importance of publishing or broadcasting accurate information on sexual assault that is free of sexism, prejudice, and sensationalism, and to support these people accordingly.

He said the majority of cases of sexual violence in Nigeria go unreported, which he attributed largely to fear on the part of the victim of being socially stigmatised or blamed.

Other panelists at the forum argued that Girls can experience violence in schools ranging from bullying, sexual harassment and intimidation and this can affect girls’ ability to continue and complete their education especially when the violence is committed by those in positions of care or authority.