Last week on Today on STV, Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, the Executive Director of Project Alert on Violence Against Women appeared on the show to talk about Project Alert’s 10th year anniversary. With her were the organisation’s ambassadors: actresses Kate Henshaw-Nuttal; Stella Damasus-Nzeribe, and Susan Harvey.
This might be many people’s first time hearing about the organisation, although they have been in existence for a decade now. In that time, they have provided shelter for 580 women and children in Sophia’s Place, a shelter for women who are victims of gender-based violence. Project Alert also provides counselling, legal aid and skill acquisition.
In recounting some of the highlights in the fight against VAW (violence against women), Ms. Effah-Chukwuma talked about Lagos State’s Domestic Violence Law of 2007, which among other things allows people to take a protection order against VAW victims other than themselves, e.g. neighbours, relatives, friends.
Project Alert has also been working on training members of the police to respond in more effective and empathetic ways to reports of violence.
During the course of the conversation, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal opined that women have low self-esteem, which is largely why they are victims of violence. Well, I feel that while many women have been raised to believe that we live in a man’s world, this is an extremely sweeping generalization of all women.
Stella Damasus-Nzeribe believed that this violence is encouraged because boys are treated better than girls, with girls having to defer to the boys and men in their lives (even if this boy is their younger brother).
Susan Harvey spoke about the need to create awareness and raise funds for Sophia’s Place. Indeed, their 10th year anniversary celebrations will include a fund-raising event to raise money to buy an apartment in a quiet, secluded place.
More information or to find out how you can help, visit the Project Alert website (www.projectalertnig.org) or contact Silverbird TV.