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GBV: Protect your children from abuse this holiday – Ekiti Gov’s wife to parents

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Wife of the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, has urged parents to do everything possible to protect their children who are presently on holiday from sexual abuse.

Dr. Oyebanji who noted that child abuse, especially sexual violations of minors, is very common during holidays urged parents not to allow their kids, go on holidays to places their safety cannot be guaranteed.

She made the remarks in Ado Ekiti on Monday during a training for male teachers on the Prohibition of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Public Secondary Schools held under the aegis of the Adolescent Girls’ Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project.

The First Lady who stated that child abuse and sexual violation of minors is usually perpetrated by close relations like uncles and neighbours charged parents and caregivers to be vigilant during holidays to save their kids from abuse.

Dr. Oyebanji counselled teachers in public schools to calm down and not allow the difficult economic situation of the country force them into being aggressive with students in their care.

She pleaded with teachers to be more understanding and empathic and not allow emotion drive them to the point of mishandling and visiting anger on the students in their care.

The Governor’s wife explained that education is pivotal to the success of the state government’s human capital development leg of the five pillars agenda of the Administration.

She said parents, guardians and teachers have roles to play in the reduction of GBV noting that they should not let down their guards during holidays when abusers of children would be on the prowl looking for victims to violate.

She said: “Our children will be at home during the holidays and many of us will be at work. Even when they go to lessons, they will still come back home. Please, let’s keep an eye on them because those who molest our children are not outsiders. They are uncles, close relations and neighbours.

“With all the tension we are having around us, there is the tendency for somebody who is not a molester to become one to ease tension. Let us tell our mummies not to be sending our children on errands anyhow so that those innocent children will not fall victim.

“Please no holiday if you are not sure of where your children are going to. Our children may want to say they want to go to Lagos or Abuja. When they are old enough, they will go to Lagos and Abuja. We have to protect our children who are on break now because the essence of the holiday is for them to relax and recharge for the new academic session.”

Speaking earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Kofoworola Aderiye, said male teachers are important stakeholders in preventing GBV owing to their influence as fathers, husbands and mentors to students.

The Special Adviser who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in her ministry, Dr. Folakemi Olomojobi, said the time has come to change the narrative on GBV and carry everyone along to reduce the incidence.

A facilitator at the training, Mrs. Omolayo Oyawoye, explained that GBV especially sexual abuse of minors grew in society because of the culture of silence noting that the situation is changing with more victims speaking up and enactment and implementation of laws to tackle the scourge.

She urged male teachers to be models to their students and also be champions against abusers at home and in the schools noting that this will go a long way to keep the students safe from being abused.

The training was attended by leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), AGILE officials and other stakeholders.

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