Advocacy groups under the auspices of the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE) and Heart100, have raised concerns over the growing cases of gender-based violence (GBV).

The groups, on Monday, at the inauguration ceremony of the Hearts of Hope Shelter, called for the setting up of more shelters for GBV victims. The newly-inaugurated shelter, initiated by CEE-HOPE and Heart100, would provide temporary accommodation, psychosocial support and empowerment for women and girls.  The event was attended by women’s rights advocates and charities

Founder of CEE-HOPE, Betty Abah said, “Gender-based violence was a major issue during the COVID-19-induced lockdown because most partners found it hard to manage pressure. As we all know, COVID-19 has come, not only as a killer of humans and destroyer of the global economy but it has also led to a global spike of GBV.”

“Where then do threatened women run when their lives are in danger and girls who experience serial rape incidence run to for help?

“While Nigeria with a large population of 200 million can only boast of 20 shelters, this is, therefore, a clarion call to the government at all levels and private individuals and organisations to take the need for setting up shelters as a major priority.”

Representative of Heart100, an international body, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, said government should do more to provide housing for its citizens, especially for the less-privilege and GBV victims.