Oyo State Government has rolled out a toll-free line for students and other victims of gender-based violence in the state to report such cases.
The Gender Desk Officer, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Mrs Olafunmilayo Akinpelu, while addressing pupils of Bodija High School, Ibadan on Thursday urged the students not to cover anybody who violated them in any way.
The visit to the school which is part of the 16 days of advocacy to stop gender-based violence and Female Genital Mutilation was organised by the United Nations Population Fund; Centre for Population and Reproductive Health; Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Health.
Akinpelu gave out 080 04004 040, a toll-free line to the school asking the students to report to the government through the line. She said the identity of whistleblowers would be kept secret.
She lamented the widespread of gender-based violence in the state, Nigeria and other parts of the world, saying everybody must support the campaign to end child abuse and violation of women’s rights.
She said, “Don’t continue to suffer in silence. Cases of gender-based violence including rape, child molestation, defilement and Female Genital Mutilation are very common and you have to speak out to end it.
“Don’t allow anybody to touch your private parts. Students do it, some teachers do it and some daddies also violate their daughters. Do not cover these evil people. Speak out against it, they may threaten you but don’t be cowed. You can report to your teachers who you know are friendly, you can call the toll-free line which is on the banners we brought.”
Girls violate girls, this is not right, boys do the same, it is against the law and God himself frowns on it. Do not allow anybody to destroy your future. Don’t have sexual partners now, you are too young for that.
“But there are things you can do to wriggle out of the grip of sexual predators. We pray you don’t fall into their hands and do not do what will make you fall into their hands. But in case you are grabbed by a man and you have the opportunity to kick his testicles hard, go ahead and do that by the time he is writhing in pains, you will run away.”
The Principal of the school, Mrs Oluwatoyin Adaramodu, also advised the pupils against going into men’s rooms while running errands for them.
She said the school had been educating the pupils on their rights and how to conduct themselves in order not to become victims of sexual predators.