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Reportage: AMDF Trains Journalists On Gender Based Violence, VAPP Law

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By Joseph Edegbo
As part of the implementation of the Rise Up project by the Africa Media Development Foundation, AMDF on Violence Against Women and Girls, a group of Journalists and bloggers on Thursday in Kaduna, brainstormed  on promoting gender equality and full implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law, VAPP through reportage.
The one day capacity building  of the participants was to increase their knowledge on the Law, Advocacy and Ethical Reporting as well as Engage in changing negative cultural norms.
The Chairperson, Kaduna State Observatory Steering Committee on Violence Against Women and Girls, Barr. Amina Audi Mohammed spoke of the need for journalists to avail themselves to the law and in turn sensitize the people.
She was of the view that if  journalists are knowledgeable on the law, the better for the  society which seemed ignorant.
Barr, Amina Audi Mohammed tasks the participants to enlighten the public that there is no escape route for perpetrators of sexual violence, especially, rape as they could be tried in any State high court not necessarily where the offences were committed.
She was of the view that cases filed  in a wrong court were done to delay justice, or leaving out vital points by prosecutors, was to deliberately scuttle justice.
Barr. Amina Audi Mohammed emphasized that because of the seriousness attached to the issue of rape, the law now carries severe punishment with a fine of #500’000 or 2 years imprisonment or both .
She advised parents or relatives of any victim not to allow perpetrators of sexual violence to escape justice on whatever notion.
The Executive Director of the AMDF, Mr. Iliya Kure who acquainted the participants with ethical reporting on Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls tasked them to be morally principled in their reportage.
In the cause of interviewing a survivor of rape , he explained, the journalist should be sensitive and conversational instead of subjecting the victim to questions dismissing the psychological trauma the victim must have gone through.
Enumerating some tips, Mr. Kure added that such interview should be conducted at a comfort zone of the survivor while at the same time use all wisdom to assure that her identity is protected.
He tasks the participants to be wary of the dangers in disinformation and misinformation as well as sensationalism.
Speaking on Advocacy Journalism, the Deputy Director of AMDF, Mrs Sekyen Dadik tasks participants to write reports that would end violence against women and girls as well as those that would encourage policy makers to create or strengthen structure in support of  Gender Based Violence.
Attention, she said, should focus on providing adequate fund for the implementation of VAPP law.
While stressing the need for advocacy stories to be devoid of sensational or propaganda, Mrs Dadik enjoined participants to take advantage of their acceptability by communities and policy makers to deliver.
Giving the overview of the project, the Project Manager and Rise Up Fellow, Mr Benjamin Maigari disclosed that a 20 member surveillance team has been established in each of the 12 communities where the project is being implemented.
Members of the team who were drawn from within the communities would serve as the eyes of the implementing NGO
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