Edo Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues says more than 50 cases of gender-based violence were recorded during the coronavirus lockdown in the state between April and May.
Mrs Maria Edeko, the Commissioner of the ministry, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Saturday.
The commissioner said that nearly 20 of the reported cases had to do with rape, defilement, and incest.
“We had an upsurge in gender-based violence in the state during the lockdown period from April to May.
“We had a case of a father, who committed incest with the daughter and a case of a tenant, who repeatedly defiled a co-tenant’s daughter and impregnated her.
“The girl is now in our custody while the violator is being investigated,” Edeko said.
She urged mothers to be extra vigilant, saying that violators were in most cases well-known persons to the victims.
She also urged people to see gender-based violence as a problem that should be tackled head-on.
The commissioner also said that many family disputes were recorded during the lockdown period as many couples were not used to staying together for a long time.
“Most of the time, everyone goes to work, but during the lockdown, the bad sides of couples were seen and this resulted in an increase in violence.
“Lack of enough money to take care of the home was also a cause of domestic violence especially among persons working in the private sector, who were not paid salaries,” she said.
The commissioner added that the ministry had been involved in discussions on gender-based violence and counselling of couples on how to live peacefully during the lockdown at the community level.