Monday, May 25, 2015

Press Release: Violence against Persons Prohibition Bill (#VAPPBill) – A Call for Presidential Assent by #Choice4Life Advocates

25th May, 2015

After a thirteen-year sojourn at the National Assembly, the Violence against Person Prohibition (VAPP) Bill was passed by the Senate on 5th May, 2015. It was earlier passed by the House of Representatives on 14th March, 2013. While the bill awaited legislative action, thousands of Nigerians fell victim to various forms of violence and many lost their lives. Now that the bill has been passed by both chambers of the national assembly, harmonized and transmitted to the president, we call on President Goodluck Jonathan to further pen his name in the history books by assenting to it immediately.

Sexual violence, a crime the VAPP bill seeks to address appears to be on the rise in recent times.  Adolescents and youths, particularly young girls are the main victims of this form of violence. Unfortunately, 52% of victims do nothing about it (National Demographic Health Survey 2013) due  to minimal support structure on ground. Domestic violence, female genital cutting, electoral violence, and many others have also caused tremendous damages in our national polity.

Troubled by the sufferings of these victims who hardly ever get justice or support, the #Choice4Life  advocates, a group of young Nigerians from diverse ethno-religious and professional backgrounds joined the advocacy for the passage of VAPP bill into law. For the past 13 months that we led the #Choice4Life campaign via social media, television and radio, we observed a high acceptance of thebill by Nigerians.

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