The Gombe State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare on Wednesday condemned the alarming rate of minor defilement and promised to tackle the menace.
Mrs Naomi Awak,the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe.
Awak said that the state government was
now more committed than ever to end issues bedeviling the child in the state, adding that perpetrators of child defilement should have a rethink or be ready to face the full weight of the law.
“The ministry of women affairs and social welfare will fight the heinous crime vigorously.
“The ministry will also be engaged in activities that will enhance the status of women as well as protect children who are more vulnerable.
The commissioner pledged to ensure that the Child Rights Act is domesticated in the interest of women and children in the state.
She said that the ministry would also ensure that the status of women was enhanced.
Awak called for collaboration among the relevant stakeholders and partners to bring an end to the menace of child defilement.
“The dignity of every child is at stake if the ugly trend is not properly addressed, and so all stakeholders must come on board.’’
According to her, sexual assault is a
shame-inducing trauma that victims experience and as a result they hardly report the incidents because of the fear of stigmatisation.
“Most sexual assaults are not being reported by parents because of fear of stigma. Some parents are not helping matter as it is only through reporting that the perpetrators will face the wrath of the law.
“Punishing the perpetrators is the only way to serve as deterrent to others,” she said.