The Salama Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, says it recorded a total of 92 rape cases in 2020, the Centre manager, Mrs Grace Abbin, has said.
Abbin told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Thursday, in Kafanchan, that the Centre also recorded 490 cases of physical, and emotional/psychological violence during the same period.
According to her, those affected were mostly women and children, noting that many of the cases are still in court, with only one conviction secured in 2020.
“Out of the total of 582 cases we recorded as at December 2020, the females affected were 485 and the males 97. We had one conviction, which we were not satisfied with, because the court that heard the matter lacked jurisdiction, and so we have applied for a retrial, ” she said
She advised victims to always report to the Centre, within 72 hours of being abused, to enable medical experts extract the key ingredients needed to secure conviction of offenders
Abbin lamented that most perpetrators of sexual assault tried to frustrate the cases, noting that the Centre needed additional security cover for its personnel and property.
“One of our biggest challenges here is that, you know when you fight crime, crime fights back. And because of that we need more security.
“There have been instances where people, who think they are above the law, have threatened us for doing our job. But we won’t be deterred in our quest to get justice for victims of sexual assault and other related crimes,” she added
She said government had tried by assigning one doctor and one nurse to the Centre, but more hands were needed, going by the increased number of cases the Centre was handling.
“We are soliciting for more staff reason being that there has been a surge in the number of cases we are handling now. Though not all cases require medical intervention, but we still need more manpower to attend to other issues we deal with,” she said.
NAN reports that the Centre is one of four in the state where victims of rape and other gender-based violence receive counseling, medical and optional legal interventions. (NAN)