Edo State Deputy Speaker, Rt.Hon. Maria Edeko on Tuesday sued for collaboration between government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in addressing social challenges associated with violence against persons.

Rt. Hon. Edeko made the appeal when she received executive members of IPAS led by Lucky Palmer, an NGO set up with a mandate to address challenges associated with gender-based violence cases.

Edo State has enacted violence against persons law (VAP), which is an all-encompassing law with a centre built for victims of gender-based violence and other related cases, she said.

According to Edeko, Edo State has one of the best gender-based violence centres in the country built by Governor Godwin Obaseki as a referral centre for gender-based victims.

“The centre is an all-encompassing centre with doctors, nurses, psychologists, security personnel, state counsels. It is a one-stop shop.

“Institutions of this nature come with their respective challenges, which include delay in investigation of cases which in some cases hinder justice delivery and as such we are seeking collaboration with your organization to address them.

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“One of such issues where the centre would need your collaboration and support is on issues to assist with the provision of forensic examination facility to enhance dispensation of justice delivery.

“When there is poor investigation of cases, many of the cases are prolonged and will end up having survivors of gender-based violence lose interest in the cases. So, if we have these forensic facilities it will help in fast-tracking justice delivery to victims,” she saiid.

The Deputy Speaker, who appealed for medical supplies for victims of rape, also solicited the support of the organization to conduct free cervical cancer screening exercise for women in the state.

Earlier, the Country Director of IPAS, Mr. Lucky Palmer said the Abuja-based NGO was currently working in several states across the country to prevent gender-based violence and ensure victims get justice.

He said the organization was established with a focus on three main areas which include prevention of maternal mortality, unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion and increasing access to sexual and reproductive health care of persons living with disabilities (PWDs).

According to him, their visit is to solicit the support of government to increase budgetary allocation for sexual and reproductive healthcare in the state.