An advocacy group, Do Foundation, has expressed concern over the rise in violence against women and defilement of children in Bayelsa State, stating that over 70 cases of both were recorded in 2019.

According to the group, while 30 cases of child defilement were recorded, two arrested paedophile committing suicide to escape justice after arrest.

President of Do Foundation, Dise Erhisere, while speaking with journalists in Yenagoa, said safety and development of children was under serious threat.

Erhisere said, “In 2019, it wasn't easy dealing with cases involving paedophiles, especially as it was about the abuse of children.

“We had over 30 cases or complaints that got to us through parents of the victims, the victims themselves during our speak-up campaigns. The cases were quite worrisome, painful and heart-breaking too.

“One of them was a man who used his hands/fingers to open a child’s vagina.

“Another two incidents were cases of teachers who defiled their pupils. The greatest challenge in all of this incidents is the fact that even relatives of victims eventually withdraw from their complaint when the matter is at the top stage of investigation. We even had a case of a pastor who came to plead on behalf of a paedophile.

“A painful incident was that of an uncle who insisted the matter be settled immediately as the paedophile’s family had pleaded to be pardoned.

“That was the end of the case as the victim was returned back to her relatives.

“For a case of defilement to succeed, the victim is also a vital witness.”

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