The wives of the Ogun and Oyo state governors on Tuesday reiterated the need for the society to be committed to ensuring the increase in rate of domestic violence is nipped, emphasising the need to put more focus on empowering survivors of domestic violence.
Mrs Bamidele Abiodun and her Oyo state counterpart, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde, made the call in Ibadan during the official launch of a nongovernmental, women-based organisation, the Women in Shelter Environment, (W.I.S.E), adding that Violence has become a menace that needs to be tackled.
That domestic violence seems to be on the rise across the world is an incontrovertible fact with survivors finding it difficult to lead normal lives. This is the basis for the creation of W.I.S.E by a Nigerian living abroad, Hon. Olamide Talabi Davies, to protect the rights of survivors of domestic violence in Oyo state.
Statistics indicate that in Nigeria, six out of 10 persons that experience violence fail to make reports due to traditional and religious beliefs, making it easier for perpetrators to go unpunished and make victims leave under huge emotional and psychological burdens.
The wife of the Governor of Ogun State, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, lauded the W.I.S.E founder for the uncommon vision of trying to help survivors of domestic violence and pledged her support to W.I.S.E in it’s bid to positively affect the lives of physically abused women in the society.
According to Mrs Abiodun, “we are witnessing a renewed commitment against domestic violence in any form in our country. One of such commitment is the launch of W.I.S.E. It’s a fact that proper rehabilitation of the victims is a first step to recovery and W.I.S.E is set to provide a means for this through professional counselling, empowerment and vocational training,” she said.
Mrs Abiodun added that victims of abuse need a place where they can feel safe and heal outside of their abusive environment, without fear of stigmatisation, criticism or recurrence, adding that ” this is what WISE seeks to provide. When this healing process is managed by trained professionals, then we can be sure that we are releasing whole women who will contribute meaningfully to society.”
The Ogun Governor’s wife commended the efforts of W.I.S.E for what she described as a laudable course, which she said is worth emulating, adding that such an initiative is a must-have in the society for peace and sustainable development.
Abiodun called for the expansion of the project to other parts of the country, especially Ogun State, where Olamide Talabi Davies hails from and urged women to remain focused in the good works they are doing, adding that their labour would not go unrewarded.
Also speaking, the Wife of the Governor of Oyo State, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde, represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs Bolanle Sarumi-Aliyu, described the initiative as timely and much needed during this challenging time.
She thanked Hon. Talabi Davies for remembering home and kickstarting the project in Ibadan while urging women facing abusive relationships to speak out, as the state government would partner with W.I.S.E to put a stop to domestic violence in the state.
Also speaking, the President and founder of W.I.S.E, Hon. Olamide Talabi Davies said the nonprofit initiative will promote, sustain and empower women who have gone through domestic violence.
According to her, the 50-bed shelter home is for women who are in the rock bottom in their marriages and would be a safe haven for women to stay while they undergo psychiatric therapy, medical attention and vocational training.
She explained that her organisation is a charitable nonprofit and nongovernmental organisation that intends to contribute immensely to reducing poverty and violence against women in the society, adding that the generosity of the organisation would touch women empowerment through a Skill Acquisition Initiative Programme in every nooks and cranny of Nigeria.
The event was witnessed by domestic violence survivors who shared their experiences and dignitaries from all walks of life.