ABUJA, Nigeria – A new report on sexual violence against minors have revealed that over 60 percent of rape victims in Nigeria were toddlers and teenagers.
The report signed by the Country Director, Pathfinder International, Dr. Farouk Jega, was released in Abuja at the 5th Network Meeting of Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) organised by the British Council’s Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) and the European Union (EU).
Jega, who was represented by the Technical Adviser on Gender, Pathfinder International, Ms. Favour Adam, said the statistics collated at SARC shows that 60 percent of rape survivors are children from 0-14 years.
“Also, we gathered that not only girls are being raped even boys at a percentage of 15-20″, she said.
Programme Director, British Council Security Justice and Conflict Programmes, Dr. Bob Arnot, said “more than 10,000 clients have gone through SARCs, a six years data of people in 15 states of the country.”
The states include Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Borno, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Niger, Yobe among others.
He added that in approaching holistically the problem of sexual violence in Nigeria, the various Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders must set aside institutional jealousy to allow the flow of collaboration.
Earlier, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, noted that Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a global pandemic that requires fundamental and coordinating actions to guarantee the safety and security of vulnerable women across the world.
He said: “The role of SARC is very vital as they have a preventive effect and this can only function if impunity does not prevail.
“The activism against gender-based violence is an opportunity to put it at top political agenda as well as a need to have female leaders pursuing the right of women, as women rights are also human rights.”
The Programme Manager RoLAC, Ms Priscilla Ankut, called for sensitization of survivors of sexual assault, to encourage them to tell their stories
He said there is also need for victims to be aware of available help services.
She added: “In order to reduce the level of Impunity of perpetrators, prosecution has to be really addressed to be able to reduce the level of Impunity, as this is a major setback which led to the launch of the Sex Offenders Register.
“The Sex Offenders Register is a digital tool to register all sexual offence, service providers check, and serves as a background check for employers.”