Increasing Access to Justice for Victims of VAW: The Kudirat Initiative for Democracy KIND & Women’s Crisis Centre

Ms. Lesley Agams receiving a cheque for NGN150,000 from Ms. Amy Oyekunle of KIND

The Abuja Family Law Centre provides pro bono legal advice and education to women. So far it has been operating out of my law offices every Thursday from 10am to 4pm. We distributed flyers in around town inviting women to come see us but found this insufficient to reach the core audience of women that we want to reach, the women that can’t afford legal services and that frequently do not even know that they maybe entitled to justice and restitution.

The Kudirat Initiative for Democracy contributed NGN150,000.00 (about $1000) to the Women’s Crisis Centre a while ago to fund our work on violence against women.  With this money are now going to also take the legal clinic out to the women in their spaces and educate them about their rights to live without violence with their families and in their communities.  These outreach clinics will hold once a month in the first instance in addition to our weekly in house clinics.

Our initial efforts will be located within the Federal Capital City and Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). We are proposing seminars and lectures with  women’s church groups, social groups, hospitals and market associations. During these 4 hour seminars we will give a 1 hour lecture on rape, the law of rape and what to do when a rape has happened and a 1 hour lecture on domestic violence and what woman can do if them or their children are victims.  There will be an hour for questions and answers and 1 hour for pro bono legal advisory.

Abuja Family Law Clinic is already working with the local chapter of FIDA and is building a network of lawyers with the capacity to litigate family law and women’s rights matters to whom cases  that emerge during our seminars can be referred for action to as appropriate.  We need volunteers; we need lawyers that can provide legal advisory and legal opinion and education, we need logistical support to arrange transport, welfare and materials as appropriate. We need volunteer writers, facilitators, experts and presenters to educate women on the following topics;

  1. rape
  2. domestic violence
  3. child rights act
  4. matrimonial law
  5. child custody
  6. child abduction

We will announce the schedule for the outreach clinics shortly. Meanwhile please continue to refer any women you know or suspect to be at risk of violence or in domestic violence situations to us at the law offices of Lesley Agams Esq. Suite 2000 4B Oyo St. Area 2, Garki, Abuja. Mobile number 0809 117 8629.

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