The government of Oyo State says it recorded 17 cases of child abuse in the state over a four month period (March and June, 2020).
The state government which made the revelation on Thursday through the Chairman of the state’s rapid response team on sexual, gender-based violence and child abuse, Mr. Marcus Williams also revealed that the age of the child abuse victims ranged from One to 17 years old.
The chairman whose team is attached to the Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion said the mandate of his response team is to protect children from violence and other forms of abuse.
While noting that the Response team had made gains in its mandate, Mr. Williams highlighted several challenges including incomplete information and inaccurate reports on survivors of child abuse and violence as a hinderance to their operations.
He also said the limited number of personnel, sufficient responders, cultural values and family pressure on children who survive abuse inhibit the ability of the team to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.
The Women Affairs Commissioner, Alhaja Faosat Sanni appreciated the efforts of the response team and noted that most of the reported cases happened during the COVID-19 inspired restrictions in the state.
She also revealed that security agencies and non-governmental organisations have been cooperating with the Ministry to pursue cases of rape and gender-based violence were pursued conclusively.
The Commissioner further issued a warning to philanthropic organisations to register with the state government to streamline their efforts because Oyo state will not spare any organisation disrupting its efforts in combating the menace of child abuse.