The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has identified an increasing trend of men becoming victims of sexual and gender-based violence in recent times.
The agency’s Director General, Fatima Waziri-Aza, disclosed this at a workshop organised with support from FORD Foundation on Wednesday in Abuja.
She stated that the cases border on physical violence, separating children from their fathers, and chasing men out of shared homes.
Waziri, reassuring men who are victims that the laws protect them, revealed that 15 complaints have been registered on such cases in 2023.
She noted, “We have also started seeing new trends. In the past, we never used to get complaints from men. But now, we get complaints from men.
“Even though we know that most of these SGBV issues affect women more, but for the fact that men are reporting and are speaking up. It shows us that attitudes that used to be seen as normal in the past, attitude that used to be tolerated, is no longer tolerated.
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“I know that for this year, we have received about 15 complaints from men. These complaints border on physical violence from their partner. It also bothers on women isolating fathers from their children and pushing their husbands out of their shared home.
“This was something that never happened before. In the past I think, men are taught to be strong and internalise issues, but it is gratifying to see that men are speaking up. So this shows that men and boys also go through these issues. The laws are also there to protect them.”
According to her, the workshop provides an avenue for stakeholders to strengthen collaboration among themselves and understand the different roles and responsibilities they each play in tackling SGBV issues while discussing strategies and stepping up advocacy efforts towards preventing and tackling the issue.
“For us at NAPTIP, last year alone, we received about 2,400 cases of SGBV in the Federal Capital Territory, and with figures from January to October, we are closely pushing to the level that we saw last year.
“But one thing I can say for sure, most times when I hear people talking about concerns talking about issues of SGBV. We keep talking about this culture of silence, but I can categorically state that the culture of silence is progressively decreasing, and I say that because we see it in the increase in reportage that we receive as an agency,” she concluded.