Wed. Jul 28th, 2021

Silence Of Rape Victims Helping Sexual Violence Boom In Nigeria – NHRC

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The silence of victims of sexual assaults has been identified by the National Human Rights Commission, as one of the reasons Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) thrive across Nigeria.

NHRC’s Executive Secretary, Tony Ojuku Esq. who disclosed this at a meeting in Rivers State, said unless victims summon the courage to report such unsavory incidents to relevant authorities, those who engage in abominable behaviors like SGBV may not stop.

In a statement made available by NHRC’s Deputy Director Public Affairs, Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, on Wednesday, Ojukwu noted that the commission was currently handing 40 related cases in the state, adding it would ensure that justice was served.

However, he advised others who were in similar situation across the country not to remain silent but be rest assured that the Commission’s panel would give them a voice as well as change the narrative of allowing sexual assaults perpetuators go free.

“Sexual and gender-based violence is a human problem which even though affects both sexes weigh heavily against women and girls.

“SGBV has been booming in Nigeria because most victims do not come out to speak for fear of stigma and discrimination, coupled with the lack of remedy for victims,” he added.

Furthermore, Ojukwu urged traditional and religious leaders to come out hard on those engaged in SGBV as that would send a strong message to others.

“Traditional and religious leaders are frustrating our fight on SGBV because they use cultural and traditional practices to settle cases which in itself encourages perpetrators to commit more sexual violence,” he added.

The UN Initiative has a mandate to end all “forms of violence against women and girls by 2030” and it has about €500 million seed funding commitment aimed at helping it achieve its objective globally.

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