RELEVANT LAWS BENEFICIAL TO women IN RIVERS STATE.

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Rivers State Violence Against Persons (prohibition) Law No . 4 of 2020.

This piece of Legislature came into force as an Act of the
on the 10′ day of December 2020 by the executive
Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS, POS Africa.

It is a law to prohibit and eliminate all forms of violence against persons in private or public life, provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims of violence, to provide for punishment of offenders and for other related matters.

The VAPP LAW has the following beneficial provisions.

OFFENCES
1. RAPE
SECTION 1 (a) and (b)
The VAPP Law has expanded the definition of Rape beyond the penetration of the male sexual organ into the Relevant Laws Beneficial To Women In Rivers State
vagina alone. Under the VAPP Law a person commit the offence of Rape if he or she intentionally penetrate the mouth, anus, or any part of the body without the consent of the other person.

SUB-SECTION2-PUNISHMENT
A person convicted of the offence of RAPE is life imprisonment for life but where the offender than 18years of age, the offender shall be subject Child Right Justice System and processes on
Child Right Law.
INFLICTING PHYSICAL INJURY, COERCIO!
WILLFULLY PLACING OF A PERSON IN FEAR OF PHYSICAL INJURY AND OFFENSIVI
CONDUCT

Women are mostly vulnerable to physical injury intimidation, threats of physical injury and sexual exploitation to the detriment of their general wellbeing.

The law under these Sections states that, no one has the right to inflict physical injury on another person by means of any weapon, substance or object, coerce another into engaging in an act to the detriment of the person, place a person in fear of physical injury and/or forcefully compel a person to engage in any sexualconduct or act detrimental to the other person’s physical or psychological wellbeing.

The law also sees it as an offence for anyone to attempt, incite, aid, abet or counsels another person to commit the offences stated in sections 2,3,4 and 5. An accessory after the fact shall also be liable for the offence.

PUNISHMENTS-
Section 3 – Infliction of physical injury: – a.
A person who inflicts physical injury on a person is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of 5 years or fine of N500,000

B.A person who attempts to commit the offence, incites, aids, abets or counsels and an accessory after the fact is liable upon conviction for a term of 3 years or fine of N 200,000 respectively.

C.The Court also awards appropriate compensation to the victim as it may deem fit in the circumstances.
section 4 Coercion – A person who commits the offences i liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 3 years.

Section 5 (1), (2), (3) (4) – Willfully placing a person in fear of physical injury – a.
A person who willfully or knowingly places any person fear of physical injury commits an offence and is liable conviction to imprisonment for a term of 2 years or fine
N200,000.00.

b.
A person who aids, abets, or counsels and an access after the fact under this section is liable on convictio imprisonment for a term of one (1) year or a fine
200,000.00

C.A person who attempts to commit the offence is liab upon conviction to a term of one (1) year imprisonment a fine of N 100,000.00

Section 6 – Offensive Conduct a.
A person who compels another person by force of the to engage in any sexual conduct or act to the detrime. the other person’s physical or psychological well – be commits an offence and is liable on conviction imprisonment for a term of 5 years or a fine of 500,000.00

B.A person who attempts, incites, aids, abets or coun another to commit the offence, commits offence andliable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of 2 years or fine of N 300,000.00.

C.An Accessory after the fact is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 3 years or a fine of N
300,000.00

3.FORCEFUL EJECTION FROM HOME
Section 9 (1) (2) (3)(4)
Forceful ejection from home of a spouse has been made an offence punishable under the Law therefore no spouse reserves the right to throw the other spouse out of the
home.

Section 9 makes it an offence to forcefully evict a spouse from their home or refuses the spouse access to the home.

PUNISHMENT
Any who commits this offence is liable on conviction imprisonment, for a term of 2 years or a fine
N300,000.00 or both.
Sub sections 2- 4 further makes it an offence for any person who attempts, incites, aids, abets or counsels another to commit the offence and is an accessory after the fact under this section. Such person is liable on conviction to a term of one year or a fine of N200,000.00 respectively.

4.
FORCED FINANCIAL DEPENDENCE OR ECONOMIC ABUSE:
Section 12
It is an offence to force a person to stop working or keep financially dependent on another person. It is a crime to cause economic abuse which includes deprivation of financial resources and necessities.

PUNISHMENT:
The offence is punishable on conviction to imprisonmen for a term of 2 years or a fine of N 500,000.00
It is also an offence to attempt, incite, aid, abet, counsel or procure another person to commit the offence as such person shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for term of one year or a fine of N 200,000.00 respectively.

An accessory after the fact is also liable on conviction imprisonment for a term of 6 months or a fine of 100,000.00

I 5. FORCED ISOLATION OR SEPARATION FROM
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Section 13
Everyone has the right to live and relate freely with family and friends. Forceful isolation or separation of any person
from family or friends is an offence punishable under our laws.

PUNISHMENT
SUB SECTIONS 1-4
Anyone who commits the offence of forceful isolation or separation from family and friends is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 3 months or a fine of
N100,000.00, abet, counsel or procure another person to commit the offence is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 3months or a fine of N
100,000.00

An attempt to commit the offence, incite, aid, abet counsel or procure another person to commit the offence and also an accessory to the fact is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 3 months or a fine of N 100,000.00 respectively.

6. Emotional, Verbal or Psychological Abuse-Section 14:

These are types of violence that can occur in a home between spouses, family members often referred classified under domestic violence and can also occur in other relationships domestic violence perpetrated by one person against the other.

These forms of violence are usually characterized wit intimidation, control, manipulation, dwindling of : person’s self-esteem, insults, isolations, humiliations ridiculing of a person.

Punishment: A person who causes this on another person commits an offence and is conviction to improvement for a term of one year of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira).

An attempt to commit the offence, incite, aid, abet, counsel or procure another person to commit the offence and also an accessory to the fact is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 6 months or a fine of N 100,000.00 respectively.

Abandonment of Spouse, children and other dependants without means of sustenance-
Section 15:

Abandonment of spouse and children has become a norm in Nigeria. The VAPP Law has now made it a crime to abandon one’s spouse, children and other dependants under the person’s custody without sustenance.

PUNISHMENT: Anyone who is guilty of this offence will upon conviction be liable to a fine of N500,000.00
(Five Hundred Thousand Naira).

An attempt to commit the offence is liable upon conviction to a fine of N 200,000.00
A person who incites, aid, abet, counsel or procure another person to commit the offence is liable upon conviction to a term of years or a fine N 200,000.00 while an accessory to the fact is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of one (1) year or a fine of N
100,000.00.

8. STALKING: Section 16
This is a pattern of unwanted behavior, directed at a specific person, which causes that person to change their routine or feel afraid, nervous or in danger.
Stalking may include unwanted calls, messages etc and it may or may not be threatening. The VAPP Law has made stalking an offence punishable under the law.

PUNISHMENT;
stalking conveys imprisonment or a fine of N500, 000. An attempt to stalk is also an offence that attracts 2 years imprisonment or a fine of N 200,000.00 and the punishment for a person who incites, aids, abets, counsel or procures another person to commit the offence is one year imprisonment or a fine of N200,000.00 while an accessory is liable to a term of one year or a fine of N100,000.00.

Intimidation -Section 17
Intimidation is an intentional behavior that would cause a person of reasonable apprehension of fear, injury or
harm.

PUNISHMENT: The law states that any person who intimidates another with intent to commit violence commits an offence and is liable on conviction for a term of one year or a fine of N200,000.00. An attempt to commit this offence, incite, aid, abet, counsel or procure another person to commit the act of violence and also anaccessory after the fact is liable on conviction imprisonment for a term of months or a fine of N
100,000.00 respectively.

10, SPOUSAL BATTERY:- Section 18

This act of violence is defined as an intentional and unlawtul use of force or violence upon a spouse with the intention of causing bodily harm.

PUNISHMENT: The law provides that a person who batters a spouse commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 3 years or a fine of N200, 000.00. Attempt to commit the offence attracts imprisonment for a term of one year or a fine of N 100,000.00 while any person who incites aids abets, counsels or procures another person to commit the offence and an accessory after the fact is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of one year or a fine N 200,000.00 respectively.

11. HARMFUL TRADITIONAL PRACTICES:
Section 19
These practices are of different forms committed against women and girls in our society. These practices affect the emotional, psychological and sexual development of the female gender.

PUNISHMENTS:
Section (1) of the VAPP law stipulates that any a person who carries out any harmful traditional practice on another person commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 4 years or a fine of N500,000.00

Any attempt to commit the offence, incite, aid, abet, counsels or procure another person to commit the offence is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 2 years or a fine of N300,000.00 while an accessory after the fact is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term ofto years or a fine N 200.000.00.

12. Administering substance with intent to stupefying or overpowering a person: Section 20 (a)(b) states that any person who administers to or causes a substance to be administered to or taken by another person with the intention of stupefying or overpowering that person to engage in sexual activity with that person commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 10 years or a fine of N 500,000.00.
13. INCEST: Section 24
1)
A person who knowingly and willfully has carnal knowledge of another person, without that person’s consent, within the prohibited degrees ofconsanguinity and affinity contained in the Matrimonial Causes Act commits incest and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years without an option of fine.
[CAPM7 LEN 2004]
2.Pursuant to subsection (1) where the parties consent to commit incest, they are liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 5 years without an option of fine, provided that the consent was not obtained by fraud or threat.
14. INDECENT EXPOSURE section 25
(1
An offence of indecent exposure is committed when a person intentionally exposes his genital organ or substantial part of the genital organ with the intention of causing distress to another person or tempting or inducing another person to commit an offence.
(2).A person who intentionally exposes his geni organ or substantial part of the genital organ a induces another person to either massage or tou it with the intention of deriving sexual pleas commits an offence.
(3)Punishment: such person is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of one year or a fine of
N500.000.00

15. OTHER RELEVANT PROVISIONS OFTHE LAW/ RIGHTS OF VICTIMS:
Section 37(1)(2)3)(4)(5)8(6) The law makes provision for victims and survivors of violence to be entitled comprehensive medical, psychological, social and legal assistance by accredited service providers an govemment agencies or non-governmental agencie
providing
such assistance; information on the availability of legal, health and social services an other relevant assistance and be readily afforded acces to them; rehabilitation and re- integration programme.

Any rule or regulation made by an institution organization prohibiting or restraining the reporting any offence or complaint under this Law, shall render the extent of the inconsistencies be null and void.
No complainant shall be expelled, disengaged suspended or punished in any form by reason compliance with the law.
Any head of institution who contravenes subsections
(1)(2) or (3) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 6 months or a fine of N200,000.00.

The Law provides for the number and categories of persons that may be in court during trial, it empowers the Court to hear proceedings in camera or to exclude any person from attending such proceedings and prohibits the publication of certain information in relation to the trial. This is to ensure that the dignity of the victim (and other parties to the trial) is protected.

PROTECTION ORDER:
The law also make provision for the protection of Victims/survivors and potential victims of violence. The court can make an order restraining an individual or State actors from further abusive behaviour or likelihood of abuse towards a victim in other to curtail and mitigate abuse. The law is, both protective and preventive in its measures.