Reportage showing indications of a rise in the prevalence of domestic Violence abound in the media, Police stations, NGO and CBO records.
In a society like Nigeria, where the tenets of faith are taken seriously, the expectation would be one in which the fear of God, will direct the actions of adherents with weekly admonitions on Fridays and Sundays.
However, this is not the case in public and private spaces. A recurring location of violations is the home, which should ideally be the safe place for all its members.Women and children have testimonies that stupify a listener to the bitter and harrowing experiences of Domestic Violence (DV). Directly or indirectly, everyone is affected while the profiles of perpetrators is all inclusive.
The mandate of WRAPA among other things is to promote and protect the rights of women; enhance and support them to access justice. Other related mandates are education through sensitization whereby knowledge is shared with women and other stakeholders on rights, responsibilities as well guidance for actions when such rights are violated.
Increasing awareness and educating citizens is an imperative to support victims and survivors especially in seeking help in abusive relationships and environments. Against this backdrop,WRAPA conducted a family workshop session on Domestic Violence at St Monica Catholic Church, Karu, Nasarawa State. The event which took place on Saturday 18th March 2017; was facilitated by WRAPA Senior Program/Project Coordinator, Mrs. Anisah Ari-Amunega.
The session centred on domestic violence’ it’s meaning, forms, prevalence, location, effects, profiles of perpetrators, warning signs and symptoms, actions expected of victims/survivors and the roles expected of individuals, family members, relatives and religious leaders in curbing the impunity.
Without mincing words and in clear simple language, Anisah spoke using life experiences of domestic violence. to show the damaging effects it has on the victim. She implored Parishioners to understand and commit to ending domestic violence in their homes or those of nearby persons who may lack the capacity to act. Using quotes from the Bible to explain how the man should treat his wife and how a woman should treat her husband, she passed on the message of love, peace, and mutual respect for the human dignity of one anotther.
She further enlightened the Church community of the need to break the cycle of violence in the lives of people we know. She also emphasised the need for victims to speak up while communities and families must commit to establishing a zero tolerance culture to Domestic Violence. Other major highlights included tips on how to handle domestic violence at the earliest before it becomes a cycle of fear, assault and destruction of body and psyche.
It was an interactive engagement giving the church local community and WRAPAthe opportunity for mutual learning and sharing.
At the end of the session, the parishioners expressed gratitude to WRAPA while committing to vigilance and support for domestic violence survivors in their midst.
WRAPA is planning to institutionalise the intervention for replication in other places or platforms of faith.