Rape: Federal, state lawmakers charged to prioritize establishment of sexual offences courts

Elizabeth AtimeApril 11, 20244 min

The book is a collection of poems on sexual and gender-based violence in memory of Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher and several other victims.

GESI TRACKER: SGBV, CANCER AND PRISON DECONGESTION

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Press Corps, Comrade Grace Ike, has charged lawmakers at the national and state levels to prioritize the establishment of sexual offences courts across the country in a bid to tackle the menace of sexual abuse in the country.

Ike, who suggested that they be modelled after successful initiatives in Lagos and other regions said this at the unveiling of a book “Tears from the Grave” written by Lemmy Ugbegbe, organized by Men Against Rape Foundation.

The book is a collection of poems on sexual and gender-based violence in memory of Keren-Happuch Aondodoo Akpagher and several other victims aimed at creating awareness to comprehensively tackle the vice in society and dedicated to the memory of victims of SGBV.

Ike, who was emotional as she made her address, commended the Men Against Rape Foundation and the organizers of this event for their commitment to shedding light on the harrowing experiences of SGBV victims. 

The journalist, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel of the Federal Capital Territory Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, said “Tears from the Grave” demonstrates the collective resolve to confront and eradicate this pervasive issue.

She expressed worry over the alarming statistics on sexual abuse and urged that all hands be on deck to ensure that the problem is addressed saying: “The statistics are alarming—a recent survey in Nigeria revealed that 31.4% of sexually active adolescent females and 5.7% of males experienced forced sex (rape) at sexual initiation. 

“Shockingly, female adolescents living with HIV are disproportionately affected by this violence. It is truly heartbreaking when individuals, regardless of age or gender, fall victim to such abhorrent acts. The normalization of sexual violence is spreading like wildfire, leaving victims in unimaginable physical and psychological anguish.

“Every day, we are confronted with distressing accounts of girls and women enduring unspeakable trauma due to sexual violence. What’s even more disturbing is the growing trend of perpetrators committing murder, and killing their victims after these heinous acts—an act that must be condemned in the strongest terms.

“SGBV knows no boundaries—it transcends age, ethnicity, colour, socioeconomic status, and geography. While the list of victims in Nigeria is extensive, many cases remain unreported due to fear of stigma and inadequate support systems.

“Despite existing legislation imposing severe penalties for SGBV offences, prosecution rates remain dismally low. Victims often shy away from reporting due to fear of stigma and the arduous legal process.

“I am particularly troubled by the absence of a government-funded compensation scheme for victims of sexual and violent crimes in Nigeria. This is a critical gap that demands urgent attention from our policymakers.

“Furthermore, civil society organizations such as the Men Against Rape Foundation play a pivotal role in advocating for the rights of SGBV victims and ensuring they receive the justice and support they deserve,” she said. 

She also expressed deep appreciation to Mr. Lemmy Ugegbe and the dedicated team at the Men Against Rape Foundation for not just coming up with this initiative but for their relentless pursuit of justice. 

I have followed your trajectory, especially on the case of Karen, a teenage victim who also lost her life as a result of rape and many other cases. You people are doing an extremely difficult job but I pray that God will continue to give you the courage, strength, financial enablement and grace to accomplish this onerous task.

“Together, let us stand united against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. We must continue to strive for a society where every individual lives free from the fear of violence and injustice,” Ike said.

Elizabeth Atime

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Please email us - contents@orderpaper.ng - if you need this content for legitimate research purposes. Please check our privacy policy

  • JOIN OUR COMMUNITY

  • JOIN OUR COMMUNITY
    Close