Nigeria: Stand Foundation Advocates for Sexual Assault and Referral Centers (SARC)

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Sand Foundation Advocates for Sexual Assault and Referral Centers

Debo Omilani

Debo Omilani has been practicing journalism for about seven years. He is a committedand dedicated journalist with a passion for reporting newsworthy events without bias.

STAND Foundation has called for the establishment of Sexual Assault and Referral Centers (SARC) dedicated to offer Medicare, and emotional support to the victims of any sexual assaults in the country.

Barr. Olusayo Adeleye, Executive Director STAND FOUNDATION disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday. She said these centres would take up the duty of giving medical aid to victims, professionally collecting and preserving evidence that will be useful in prosecuting the offender(s), advising victims on the options available to them and providing appropriate counselling to help victims heal from the trauma of the encounter.

According to her, there is a need for dedicated institutions such as Sexual Assault Referral Centres, operating with utmost confidentiality and manned by professionals who have the requisite knowledge in case of rape, defilement or sexual assault.

“In the light of recent happenings across the nation, it has become imperative to harp on the importance of creating a safe society for our children to live and thrive.

“It is sadder to note that the perpetrators usually walk away free while the victims, male or female, live forever with the damaging consequences of the heinous invasion of their lives, she said

While commending the National Assembly and some state houses of Assembly for passing Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015, she said there is a need to do more to stem the tide of sexual violence especially against minors.

“In our opinion, a very important step to be taken is education- education of the enforcers of these laws, education of parents, guardians and education of the children themselves. Those who are charged with the enforcement of laws must understand the laws they are to enforce so they can guarantee the efficacy of these laws in either preventing or punishing the mischief they were created to deter she said

She added that an urgent intervention is necessary in the area of training of law enforcement officers on the dynamics of the law of rape and other degrees of sexual offences and how to advise victims appropriately when they come to them as well as how to effectively prosecute their cases and secure justice for victims.

Adeleye also urged parents, guardians to properly educate children about sexual abuse and to pay closer attention to them. ” Minors must not be made easy prey by their parents or guardians who would rather seek material pursuits at the detriment of their children’s safety.

“Parents must know the imminent signs of abuse and know what to do in case they discover a child has been defiled or the child opens up and informs them. They must learn to be vigilant and observant and set appropriate boundaries for their children. Rape and other forms of sexual assault on children are usually carried out by those familiar with them, people they should ordinarily be comfortable with but who take undue advantage employing means ranging from threats, coercion, to subtle and outright manipulation, she advised

She also tasked Civil societies and the media to do more of advocacy, public enlightenment, information dissemination and providing necessary support to end the societal menace.

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