A non-governmental organization, Mercy Corps Nigeria, on Monday called on journalists to focus on survivors while reporting cases related to Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Oluwawemimo Onikan, Communication Officer, Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprise (ENGINE), a program being implemented by Mercy Corps, made the call during a press conference in Abuja.
The conference was organized ahead of the international Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, and to commemorate the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence declared by the United Nations, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10.
She said that survivors centered approach in news reporting would empower survivors by putting them at the center of healing process.
Onikan said journalists should be emphatic, but avoid judgemental language during interviews with GBV survivors.
“When GBV is a manifestation of power, the media can unintentionally create another experience where the survivors feel further disempowered.
“Applying the survivor-centered approach involves prioritizing the survivors’ best interest, by following the guiding principle of safety, confidentiality, respect and non discrimination”, she said.
She stated that survivors of violence were often blamed by the society for dressing indecently or talking too much, urging journalists to challenge the norm by exposing perpetrators.
Onikan also said reporters must respect the right of survivors to refuse questions or divulge sensitive information and also avoid questions that are insensitive to culture.
She added that journalist should not report details that could put survivors at further risk and should provide information on local support service that address GBV cases.
Earlier, Mr Ram Kishan, Deputy Country Director, Mercy Corps said the organization was ready to partner with the media in fighting gender based violence in the country.
He said the issue of violence against children and vulnerable adult was a serious issue affecting the society and could be tackled with the help of the media.
Also, Mrs Chinelo Ezeobi, Policy and Governance Manager, ENGINE ll urged the media to publish names of perpetrators so as to serve as deterrent to others.
She added that perpetrators should be labelled mentally unstable and be made to undergo rehabilitation before going to prison.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mercy Corps, with support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through its Girls Education Challenge (GEC) Fund, implements the Educating Nigerian Girls In New Enterprises (ENGINE) II programme.
The program is aimed at addressing barriers to girls education and gender inequalities for 18,000 marginalised girls in Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory.
The programme facilitates Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection in the four states, working with various stakeholders including the Federal and State Governments, as well as line agencies to establish Reporting Protocols for Abuse. (NAN)
– Dec. 10, 2019 @ 8:45 GMT
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