By Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The first female professor at Kaduna State University (KASU) and Director of Gender Studies in the university, Prof. Hauwa’u Evelyn Yusuf has successfully built a Centre for Study and Resolution of Domestic Violence (CERSDOV) to provide relief for survivors of sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Kaduna State.
Prof. Hauwa’u who is a leading SGBV advocate in Kaduna said she envisioned the center after her United States internship experience in 2008.
Wife of the Kaduna State Governor, Mrs. Ummi El-Rufai had on December 14 commissioned the newly built center located in Rigachikun in Igabi local government area of the state as a part of deliberate efforts to drastically reduce the issues of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the state.
Fielding questions from the newsmen, the university don added that the Center would complement the government and other stakeholders’ fight against SGBV to give survivors another chance to live happily.
To her, “this is what I called God’s project. It is a Centre for Study and Resolution of Domestic Violence which was registered precisely on November 9, 2009.
“It is a Center that provides shelter for survivors of SGBV. Here at the Center, we do a variety of things to keep the center running. We do training on gender, offer diploma certificates in gender, and capacity building for security operatives.
“We are also into both quantitative and qualitative research, sexual and reproductive health, and psychosocial support to survivors of domestic violence while we also pursue good governance and our motto is to build a society free of violence.
When she was asked how did the center come about she said, “to the glory of God, I got this vision after my internship at the US in 2008 at the Centre for Domestic Violence in Washington DC.
“When I returned to Nigeria and since the fight against SGBV has been my passion, I felt it is good to put that into something concrete. We started in my father’s house in Kagoro, Kaura local government area of Kaduna State which is why the registered address for the center reads Kagoro.
“We have been working hard ever since and today, Alhamdullilah we have been able to accomplish the dream of having a complete center that can house the survivors of SGBV and as well serve humanity in other ways – with state-of-the-art auditorium which is open to events, classrooms for training and research and shelter”.
On whether the center has plans to work with other interests Pof. Hauwa’u explained that “we are not alone in this call as we work with about nine other like-minded organisations which include but are not limited to Zamani Foundation, Legal Awareness for Nigeria Women, Babajo Foundation, E-cAPH, Ministry of Human Services and Social Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice as well as Planning and Budget Commission.
“We are also a member of Kaduna Coalition against SGBV which was officially launched on December 7. We know that we cannot work alone and we believe in collaboration as the surest way to end SGBV.
“For now, we rely on what we have and we hope by the time people see what we do they will see the need to support us. We trust God to help us in this course as we play our role in seeing a peaceful and progressive society we live irrespective of our gender.
“Wife of the governor, Hajiya Ummi El-Rufai honoured us by coming to commission this place because she is also against SGBB and she has championed and still championing a lot of reforms along this line and I sincerely commend her for that”, she added.