By G9ija

An Abuja-based NGO, Girl-to-Woman Initiative (GTWI) on Sunday in Abuja admonished male adolescents not to be predators but to be protectors of females.

Founder of the Initiative, Ms Linda-Claudia Uke, gave the admonition at an interactive session on ways of changing the patriarchal narrative of violence and rape against women.

Uke urged adolescent males to always create safe spaces for girls and women by jettisoning the predatory mentality against women and girls.

The women rights activist condemned rape and other forms of violence against women and girls and urged youngsters to champion the fight against rape.

“We are holding the interactive session as part of efforts to fight the monster of rape or violence against women and girls.

“I have heard stories where grandfathers rape their seven-year-old babies without conscience.

“This project called “Boys-to-Men’’ is targeted at changing the patriarchal mentality of seeing violence against women and girls as the norm,’’ she said.

Uke called for concerted efforts to declare zero tolerance on rape and other forms of violence against women and girls.

In his contribution, Mr Eastmand Ojen, Co-Founder, The New Generation Leadership Initiative (TNGLI), another NGO, described adolescents as future leaders and urged them to preserve their future and that of the opposite sex.

Ojen, who blamed rape on negative minds constructions, advised youngsters to always occupy their minds with positive issues.

He stressed the need for adolescents to shun all forms of crime, especially, rape or sexual assault so as to live their potential to the fullest.

“Endeavour to always caution colleagues and friends against rape; be whistle blowers in effort to end the scourge,’’ he admonished.

Guest Speaker at the session, Mrs Blessing Harrison, said rape victims were prone to committing suicide and described the crime as the mother of all crimes and violence against women and girls.

She said rape was also capable of increasing the spread of sexually transmitted infections as well as HIV.

Harrison, who identified self-low esteem as one of the major reason to commit rape and other crimes, noted that rape was capable of triggering psychosomatic disorders in victims.

She urged youngsters to ensure the protection of their mothers and sisters because rape could lead to unwanted pregnancies, murder or suicide.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the interactive session aimed at stemming the tide of rape and violence against women and girls.