Edo: Law prohibiting violence against children coming
In line with the dictates of the National Priority Agenda, law prohibiting violence against children in Edo State will soon be in place.
Its final draft was reviewed and validated at a stakeholders’ meeting organized by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development recently in Benin.
The National Priority Agenda is an eight year strategic framework to guide the multi – sectoral operation of the objective and strategies of Nigeria Vision20:20 -20.
The document which seeks to ensure protection of the most vulnerable children in Nigeria serves as a guiding framework for states to develop their own Action Plans based on specific situation.
The draft which its making was said to have begun in June 2017 seeks to use six strategies to achieve the target goal; ending violence against children.
Among the outlined strategies, the law when operational seeks to support parents, care – givers and families on their child early development. It is believed that this will reduce the risk of violence within the home;
Helping children and adolescents manage risks and challenges without the use of violence as 90 percent of children age; 2 – 14 are subject to one form of psychological trauma (violence) by care – givers at the home;
Changing attitudes and social norms that encourage violence, and discrimination, among others.
The law has its mission statement; ‘Ending violence against children, a priority for everyone in the state and its objective;
‘To ensure full implementation of laws and policies that address violence against children in Edo State, to strengthen the systems for effective prevention and response to all acts of violence against children in Edo State.
According to a national study report in 2014 by the National Population Commission, out of every 10, six children are subjected to violence; boys suffered physical violence the most, and girls sexual violence.
More than 50 percent of children suffer physical violence; between the ages of 6 and 11. Approximately, one in 10 children first experienced physical violence under the age of five.
Almost a third of boys’ population experiences their incident of sexual violence at age 13, and younger. 26 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys reported that their first sexual intercourse was forced.
Approximately half of children first experienced emotional violence before the age of 12.
Further, the study reveals, persons who molest the children are those they are familiar with; those living in the neighborhood.
This is as adults in the neighborhood accounted for 29 percent of violence against girls and 25 percent of violence against boys.
Amongst adults in the neighborhood who perpetrate physical violence, male teachers are the most frequent perpetrators (over 50 percent). 15 percent of boys’ first experience of sexual violence was at school.
Violence has serious negative impact on the lives and future of the children, the study noted while it concludes, a child that experience violence has tendency to be perpetrator of violence in future.
However, 61 percent of care – givers believes that physical punishment is necessary in the raising of children, the study said.
Mrs. Magdalene Ohenhen, commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development who represented wife of the Governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki at the event noted that with the validation of the draft, it was a new dawn for children of Edo State