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Rape: Many Sexual Assault Cases Are Under-Reported, Minister

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has today, Friday revealed it had recorded 717 cases of sexual assault since January 2020.

The minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen who made this known today stated many cases of sexual assault are under-reported, and most times the cases are poorly prosecuted due to lack of evidence to prove rape.

She also explained that victims are often reluctant to report for the fear of the social stigma associated with rape and survivor blaming.

The minister, who was represented by Ebele Obiefuna, Senior Social Welfare Service spoke on Wednesday at the official commissioning of the first Sexual Assault Referral Center (SARC) in FCT said limited facilities to provide victims with necessary medical assistance, trauma centres, and counselling are contributory factors to victims silence.

The commissioning at the Bwari general hospital is part of the programmes set to commemorate the 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls, organized by the British Council under its European Union (EU) funded programmes; the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) and the Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN).

She said the Nigerian police reported that it received 717 cases of sexual assault since January 2020.

Following the development, the minister said many strategies have been put in place to help curb the increase of sexual assault.

“Presently, there are 28 SARCs in 17 states of the federation namely, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara, Niger, Ogun, Sokoto, Zamfara has one each, while Enugu and Adamawa 2; Lagos 3, Kaduna and Yobe 4 each”.

According to her, SARCs have assisted over 15,000 survivors of sexual assault of whom are under 18 years old within the space of seven years.

“Medical staff at all the 28 SARCs have been trained in forensic medical examination procedures and documentation as well as in the provision of psychosocial services to survivors of sexual assault,” she said.

Source: Naija News

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