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Gender-based violence: Downplaying the Pandemic

By Juliet Efalola Thomas

This global peril called gender-based violence or violence against women and girls affects 1 in 3 women in their lifetime. The reality is raspy, and it knows no social or economic boundaries. Women and girls all over the globe, in both developed and developing countries, are victims of this scare.

Such violence ranges from physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence to economic violence. Picture a lady telling her friend her husband raped her... In this setting of ours, the typical reply would be "you serious for true, how you marade man go rape you?". Such thrashing response is usually followed by aggravating chuckles. Here, people ignorantly believe and preach that the probability of one's partner raping them is =0. This culture of acceptance and silencing victims by downplaying the act is quite unfortunate.

Visualize another woman crawling to her parent's house with a bruised face, dislocated joints and nearly bare skin... To tell of and show her partner's cruelty. I guess you've already presumed what the parents' reply would be "na for biya ya, marade ose nor eazi... But you n you man go settle una problem." It is a common practice for family members of GBV victims to give deaf ears to complaints and even condone it to a greater extent.

Gender-based violence is, by extension, a gross violation of human right which is grounded on the rocks of gender inequality. It's appalling to know that in this day and age there are men who think they're made superior. For such men, violence against women feeds their ego. Another cause of violence against women is "silence" itself. We live in a society where victims of gender-based violence are judged as brazen women who brought such upon themselves. This moderately accounts for the lesser amount of reports and investigation of such matter. Undoubtedly, society can be seen as accompanist of this tragedy. Perpetrators are aware of the complacency society exhibits, and they know they could get away with the crime. You might be wondering what escape route is there for such women... Think of this woman who's heavily pregnant, she also has three other kids, with no source of income. She wants to leave her abusive husband who even during her pregnancy hasn't been considerate. Now if she does, how will she cope with all the responsibilities? How can she fend for her children? The convenient option she'll think of is to stay and endure. Will you blame her? Therefore in tackling gender-based violence, women empowerment is vital.

Knowledge of the ramifications of gender-based violence on victims is necessary for mopping it up. The traumatic impact, physical injuries, psychological effects, forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, fistula, sexually transmitted diseases and even death are all prepackaged with this pandemic. We actively Join all the world to fight against it as no woman deserves such.

To every woman who has been a victim, every woman who spoke out or remained silent... You are recognized, thought of, and loved. What happened to you is not your fault, and that does not define you. You are beautiful, worthy and enough.

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