By Patrick Ekpoh
The University of Uyo Women Association on Thursday walked round the streets of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital to register their protest against rape and other sexual violence against women.
The protesters who were dressed in black T-shirts chanted solidarity slogan “say no to rape”, “say no sexual violence” etc. all through the walk pass
Wife of the Vice Chancellor and President of the association, Mrs. Rosalyn Essien lamented that the once admirable moral fabric of the African traditional society has in recent time been blighted by the depressing act of rape carried out by the male gender.
“We are here to lend our voice to the trending local, national and global advocacy against rape in the wake of increasing Sexual and Gender Based Violence since the beginning of the lockdown”
“All categories of females from babies to toddlers infants, teenagers young ladies, middle aged women to grannies have suffered varying act of male sexual violence while perpetrators have included family members, neighbors, landlords, Teachers the police and other security forces.
“No single individual, organisation, foundation or government can stop the epidemic except by responding to the responsibility of tackling the problem collectively’’ she stated.
She said sexual violence affects all lives and the protest was a chance to say “No to Rape”, Sexual Violence, Child Sexual Abuse, Sex Trafficking and other harmful practices in our communities.
Mrs Essein lamented that despite the surge in rape cases, the menace has remained unreported and underreported due to a prevailing structure that attract fame to the predator and shame to the victims.
This reality, she noted, has provided necessary and sufficient attractions for the University of Uyo Women Association to ventilate its reaction in the form of a social protest.
While commending the state government on the life jail for rapist, the VC’s wife called for stiffer penalties for people, agencies and institutions that fail to report cases of rape brought before them.