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The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) in collaboration with Black Diamond Support Foundation on Saturday in Jos staged rallies to create awareness on the rising cases of rape and child molestation in the society.
During the rallies which took place at markets within the Jos metropolis, members of the association encouraged members of the public to speak out against rape.
Speaking at the event, the Chairperson of NAWOJ, Plateau Chapter, Mrs Jennifer Yarima, tasked members of the public to speak out and “break the culture of silence” on rape and other forms of violence against women and children.
Yarima described as painful and disheartening the way children were abused by people who were supposed to be their caregivers and protectors, such as their teachers, guardians, uncles and even parents.
She called for an end to the rape and molestation of children and even adults, saying the most worrisome was that of toddlers and infants.
The Convener of the Black Diamond Support Foundation, Mrs Adefunke Agina, called on government to prescribe death sentence as penalty for rape. “Rape equates death,” she emphasised.
“When someone is violated, it brings her world to an end; her spirit is dashed and everything becomes bleak and nothing seems worth living for.
“I urge victims and parents of victims to speak up as silence on such matters increases the chances of it happening over and over again,” she said.
Former National Secretary of NAWOJ, Mrs Lucy Chindaba, called on security agencies to give rape cases the needed attention to ensure that victims get justice.
Mrs Ladi Garba, mother of a rape victim in Jos North Local Government, told the gathering that since her daughter was raped, she had given up on life as she no longer desired to go to school or do something meaningful with her life.
She decried the high level of rape and child molestation in the locality, saying it was becoming too rampant.
The March against rape was supported by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Plateau Council, the Legal Aid Council, Criminologists Without Borders and the Inclusive Friends Network, among others