By Taban Henry
The Vice President for Gender and Youth Cluster, Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior on Tuesday pledged to work hard to end Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.
Nyandeng was speaking to the media as she paid her first courtesy visit to the Gender Based Violence and Juvenile court yesterday.
The Vice President said her aim of the visitation was to recognize and spotlight the court’s efforts in providing access to justice and the legal aid to the survivors of Sexual and Gender-based Violence and in protecting its victims.
In December 2020, the Chief Justice inaugurated the SGBV and Juvenile Court in order to try the cases related to SGBV and to punish the perpetrators.
The Vice President added that the inauguration of the court was a significant milestone in achieving the goal ending of SGBV.
She added that the court not only facilitates access to justice for survivors but also safeguards individual liberty, privacy, security and human dignity.
“I hope by visiting this court today we can highlight the strength of this institution and elevate public confidence in our judiciary process especially among women and girls, however, gender based violence is not only a legal matter, it’s also socio-political and socio-economic in nature that requires attention of healthcare providers, law enforcement agencies, community leaders and elders working in close collaboration with the justice system,” she said.
Nyandeng said that the boiling desire for the rights of self-determination, dignity, equality and justice was a guide and light to liberation towards the country’s independence and that because of this history which has been altered by inequality and injustice the nation must continue to protect the rights that many people paid the ultimate price to achieve.
She further encouraged the community leaders to deal with early child marriage and called upon all agencies dealing with SGBV issues to have trained and dedicated teams in their departments.
“Our chiefs and elders have to put attention to those who force the girls into early marriage because they are the ones we need to focus more on, in order for survivors to feel safe reporting. This will create a conducive environment on which they come forward.
I hope that all agencies who are practitioners that deal with this issue are able to have a department, trained and dedicated in handling sensitive GBV cases. This means having more females first responders to GBV cases especially law enforcement agencies so that they will be the ones to respond to cases and receive the women,” Nyandeng said.
The Vice President revealed that consoling, healing is still a challenge to the nation but it is very important especially after the many problems that the people have faced. She encouraged the community to stop being stereotypical but rather to challenge norms around SGBV.
“I have noticed that this court takes survivors centered approach that provides services which are immediate and specific needs of the survivors. Critical services that should be provided to the survivors and the perpetrators are social support, consoling and healing which are very important tools for creating a safe environment and healing to challenge the norms around gender based violence,” she added.
“I often say in this country we are traumatized, that we suffer from unhealed generations of trauma brought about by conflict and big sorrow of lost as a result we are on each other’s throats because we were unable to face each other with truth and forgiveness. Trauma is like a wound that would only intensify both faith and consequences if both are left unsolved. Therefore continue to make it a priority to create safe space for women and girls, men, boys and all the survivors to report their cases,” she stated.
She stated that she will continue to dream about a society free of sexual and gender based violence were women and girls continue to live free from discrimination and inequality.