Hi, good people of Nigeria, it is our pleasure to welcome you to this week’s edition of the Inspiring Country Action Series under the Rebrand Nigeria Campaign!
Prior to the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act in 2015, there were so many cases of violence against vulnerable persons across the country.
Those days, cases of rape within families, deaths of husbands or wives initiated by their spouses, acid baths on loved ones, etc were so rampant despite the continued social and legislative advocacy championed by women groups and gender activists.
In response to those outcries, the Federal Government signed into law the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act in 2015 in order to protect victims of all forms of violence and abuse; and to ensure that their perpetrators are brought to book.
It is important Nigerians understand that the VAPP Law “prohibits all forms of violence in private and public lives, including physical, sexual, psychological, domestic, harmful traditional practices, discrimination against persons and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders.”
The VAPP Law is an improvement on the existing Penal and Criminal Codes that address all forms of violence whether physical, sexual, domestic, psychological, socioeconomic or harmful traditional practices.
To further break it down, offenses punishable by the VAPP Law include; rape (which is no longer limited to vaginal penetration but also anal and oral sex), genital mutilation, inflicting physical injury on an individual, forceful home ejection, deprivation of one’s liberty, economic abuse, spousal abandonment, harmful widowhood practices, abandonment of children and other dependents, spouse/partner battery, political violence, indecent exposure, substance attack, etc.
According to Section 44 of the VAPP Act, the agency of the Government that is charged with the responsibilities of implementing the Law is the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
In collaboration with other stakeholders, according to Section 38 of the Law, “Every victim is entitled to receive the necessary materials, comprehensive medical, psychological, social and legal assistance through governmental agencies and/or non-governmental agencies providing such assistance.”
Even though, the VAPP Law of 2015 is a Federal Law, several states, including Kaduna, Anambra, oyo, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu and Osun have domesticated it in their States, as a result of the impact it is making in the fight against all forms of abuse.
Therefore, as a Center committed in changing the world by raising young leaders from the African continent, we hereby call on other State Assemblies to hurry and make the VAPP Law operational in their States, as a tool for development in line with SDG Goals 5, 10 and 16.
Great people of Nigeria, are you aware of this Law? What can you say about it?
This campaign is powered by the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa.