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Domestic violence: group gives legal assistance to 62,000 women, girls

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The WomenAid Collective (WACOL), has rendered free legal aid and assistance to at least 62,000 women and girls within its 25 years of existence.

This was disclosed on Thursday by the Founder of the organisation, Prof. Joy Ezeilo at an event in Enugu to commemorate WACOL’s 25th Anniversary.

Ezeilo said, “my passion when I started this organisation is to touch lives and defend human rights and today the vision has manifested.”

She said the organisation is considered as the number one legal aid service provider for women and girls in Nigeria, stressing that “we are providing assistance to about 2,000 on an annual basis.

“We register an average of 20 cases daily at our legal clinic. This is evidence-based and well documented.

“From 1998 to date, approximately 62,000 women and girls have accessed free legal aid and assistance services. We provide free legal services for women and young people in our offices across the country.

“We also ran community law centres in Katsina, Ebonyi and Anambra States, including mobile legal clinics in Bayelsa, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra States.”

“This services available under the legal aid scheme include court representation, crisis intervention and counseling, information about victims right, shelter, home visits and other human right abuses, including denial of inheritance, assault, child abuse/neglect, harassment/ intimidation, sexual assault/rape, and other forms of violence against women and young people,” she said

According to Ezeilo WACOL is a member of many coalitions, which include LACVAW, Gender Technical Unit, Gender and Constitutional Advocacy Network and the Network of Sexual Assault Referral Centres

She thanked all partners of WACOL for their support so far saying “Successful execution of these projects and more are made possible with funding support from JBDF managed by the UNDP, UNDP/DGD, EU, USAID, UNICEF and many others.

Also speaking, the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi represented by Niri Goyit, Women’s Right Manager of Action Aid commended WACOL for 25 years of impacting positively in the lives of women and girls.

Obi said, “today, we are celebrating growth, eradication of poverty and God’s faithfulness.

“WACOL is an example of a nation with good leadership because a nation with a good leadership will have growth, make impact and progress.”

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