Reprieve is on the way for rape victims in Imo as the government plans to provide free legal services for them to obtain justice and achieve closure.
Governor Hope Uzodimma who announced the gesture in Abuja, also promised to ensure the victims are saved further trauma through stigtimasation by the society.
The governor spoke when he received triple awards of excellence from the Federation of West African Freelance Journalist Association and Anti-Rape Campaigners.
The awards are: The Governor of the Year 2020: International Anti Rape Ambassador; and Infrastructural Development Governor of the year 2020.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Emelumba, received the awards on his behalf.
Senator Uzodimma said the government would soon forward an executive bill to the House of Assembly to make it a law to provide free legal services for rape victims.
Regretting that one of the major drawbacks for rape victims in their quest for justice was stigmatisation, the governor hoped that the free legal services would encourage them to overcome that fear.
He directed both the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Women Affairs to collaborate and come out with feasible strategies that will help rape victims to get justice and their abuses commensurate punishment.
He said it was the desire of his administration to protect women from human predators and gender based violence, insisting that society must preserve the age old value of respect for women.
The governor thanked the group for the awards, saying that he was deeply encouraged by the gesture.