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Mental health: NGO demands safe space for GBV survivors, rallies NAPTIP, other groups

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Mental health: NGO demands safe space for GBV survivors, rallies NAPTIP, other groups

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The Gender Justice Community of Practice has again reiterated the need for a safe space for survivors of Gender Based Violence in the country.

They re-echoed their advocacy recently at a 2-day Annual Learning Summit held in Abuja.

The event had the theme: “The Intersectionality of gender and mental health; A Reflection on the Impact of Gender Based Violence on Mental Health.

At the Summit, the Programme Manager, Cognito Kaseina Dashe noted that the Gender Justice Community of Practice has a learning agenda, saying part of it was to find out the different aspects of gender based violence and lend voices for intervention to take place.

They have therefore tasked NAPTIP, NGOs, gender actors and other stakeholders’ to key into the project.

Cognito, which is the linking and learning organization for Voice in Nigeria according to her, has also identified intercession between gender based violence and the reality of mental health as a very important dimension that is not often talked about.

“So, we decided to bring it forward as a conversation that we should hold.

“The reality is that a lot of people go through gender based violence and it does take a toll physically and mentally and those scars actually run very deep.

“People who go through gender based violence are not victims but survivors and we are calling for a safe space where they can be supported to thrive and function in society irrespective of their experience.

“We mainstream these issues that we talk about as communities, partner with NAPTIP, NGOs, Civil Society, private foundation and so on so that early intervention and support services can come for survivors.” She added.

Cedric Owuru, Learning and Amplifier Officer, OXFAM while speaking restated the organization commitment to continue to lead advocacy, facilitate a space and find connection to enhance collaborations among organizations.

“All these activities by the learning for us will enhance local development via concrete data and beyond the gender justice community of practice, we achieve collective goals within their different thematic areas.”He added.

In her welcome address earlier, Chair Voice Gender Justice Community of Practice in Nigeria, Rosemary Adejoh-Adaji explained that the event was borne out of the need for the community to acquire the necessary skills and strategy to be able to address problems associated with survivors of gender based violence.

“We discovered that there is so much focus on other aspects of SGBV but people did not really delve on the mental health aspect, hence our advocacy as a community of practice.” Adejoh-Adaji said.