AfA Holds Public hearing on Implementation of VAPP Law in Imo

As a mechanism to promote knowledge and demand for the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition law (VAPP), in Imo state, Alliances for Africa conducted a public hearing for CSOs, state actors, security agencies, media, the Imo state Committee on Ending Violence against Women and Girls, (ISCEVAWG), traditional institutions, religious bodies and stakeholders in the state.

The activity’s aim was to raise awareness of the VAPP’s provisions in order to increase advocacy for and ownership of its implementation, as well as to foster understanding of the institutions’ and key players’ roles in that process.

The program which took place at Rock view hotels by government house roundabout, Owerri Imo state, on Friday 23rd of September,2022, was supported by the United Nations Trust Fund.  

AfA’s Project officer, Faith Kalagbor explained to participants that there is need to ensure access and provisions of the VAPP law is domesticated and leveraged on to protect citizens from violence in both public and private life 

The facilitator, Barr. Calistus Ihejiagwa, stated to the audience that the Imo VAPP law, its provisions, and innovations re-defined rape and accorded appropriate punishment to perpetrators and compensation to survivors.

He provided a thorough explanation of the legal provisions that the VAPP addressed, this includes, inflicting physical injury on a person, taking undue advantage of persons with disabilities, prohibition of female genital mutilation, forceful ejection from home, harmful widowhood practices, abandoned of spouses, stalking, children and other dependents without sustenance, rape and defilement. Recommendations made during the public hearing for the smooth implementation for state actors were, an urgent budgetary allocations from the state treasury for the establishment of violence against person’s agency, establish a Sexual Assault Referral Center (SARC) for case management, psychosocial support, the establishment of an active regulatory body, made up of multi- sectoral action committee, a state Gender-Based Violence rapid response team to monitor enforcement of the VAPP law and also the provision of shelters to temporary house survivors.

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