SGBV Epidemic: Father of Rape Victim Cries Out For Justice


The father of a 17-year-old girl, who was raped in Mpape, FCT-Abuja, by a neighbour last year, has cried out for justice.

Mr Ousmane Abdou, the father of the victim, reported what he described as a rape case and attempted murder against his daughter, calling on every relevant authority, PRIMORG and well-meaning Nigerians, to help him get justice for her daughter.

He appealed after listening to the anti-corruption radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, produced by PRIMORG, on Wednesday, 13 March 2024, in Abuja.

According to Abdou, the incident had been reported to the Mpape Police station. Meanwhile, the alleged rapist is still walking free after allegedly manipulating and brutally raping his daughter and adding that his daughter almost died as a result of bleeding from the incident.

To save the life of the girl, Abdou disclosed that his daughter had to be taken to three different hospitals in Mpape, Maitama and Bwari before she was stabilized and bled for two weeks following injuries sustained from the rape.

Describing the incident, he said it took place on the 31st of November, 2023 and by the time the information got to him, his daughter had been “manipulated, kidnapped and brutally raped and disvirgined by our neighbour’s son in the presence of both his mother and sister.

“The family took my daughter to the chemist (patent medicine store) nearby, where it was confirmed that she was raped and the pharmacist couldn’t handle it. Then, they took her to Dan-Fulani Hospital, where she received first aid care. The pharmacist who helped and stabilized her advised that I insist she be transferred to Maitama General Hospital. At Maitama, the doctor stitched her that very night. After that day, we were again transferred to Bwari General Hospital for further medical attention and a series of tests,” Abdou narrated.

Speaking earlier during the radio programme, governments at all levels were urged to step up efforts in bringing culprits to book owing to the rise in cases of Sexual Gender-based Violence (SGBV) and difficulties in survivors accessing justice.

The radio program was anchored on a recent investigation in Borno State by Women Radio Center which revealed that women and girls who survived rape are struggling to access justice. The findings pointed at delays in the dispensation of rape cases and lack of awareness on how to preserve evidence as the main challenges.

Rukaiyatu Idris, the Journalist who conducted the investigation, described the lack of access to justice for SGBV survivors in the state as a major blow and called on federal and state governments to initiate policies that will preserve evidence when sexual crimes are committed, urging law enforcement agencies to be transparent in handling cases of sexual violence.

She stressed the need for more awareness of gender-based violence, especially how rape survivors can preserve evidence.

On what the government must do to improve access to justice for SGBV survivors, she said, “government should bring out some policies that will ensure even if a victim person has lost evidence, once it’s confirmed there is abuse, there should be a provision to compensate the survivor.

“I’ve engaged with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. They said that they have been trying and that the problem is that the justice system is rigid.

“The problem we are having is that we don’t have enough transparency in the system. Survivors should be aware of where their case is going. The people in the justice system, particularly the Police”.

Idris noted that the Borno State government was aware of the investigation, and the women and girls affected in her report were yet to get justice. She called on people not to relent in speaking up against SGBV, as well as change their perception of losing rape cases.

On her part, a gender-based violence expert, Barr. Oluwatoyin Falaiye also called on governments at all levels to enforce laws to curb sexual violence against women and girls, stressing that the rise in SGBV cases will not subside unless culprits face the full wrath of the law.

“Implementation of the laws is important. The governments make the laws but must also ensure that the laws are being enforced and implemented across the states, ensuring that there is adequate provision for specialized courts across the country, ensuring that the law enforcement agencies are properly trained and equipped with the right resources to be able to handle cases of gender-based violence.

“This will go a long way; this will be a show of commitment in the fight against gender-based violence. Those are the things that governments can do”.

Falaiye prescribed change in cultural norms and perception of patriarchy, which continue to affect the society from decisively addressing violence against women and girls.

The legal practitioner called for early sex education in schools, emphasizing that it will go a long way in sensitizing young people about the dangers of SGBV.

“Sex education, especially about sexual and gender-based violence, is important; it should be reintroduced in our schools, and I mean from primary schools,” Falaiye stated.

She called for training and re-training of law enforcement officers manning gender desks and civil society organizations to do more in sensitizing citizens on how to keep safe from SGBV, the need to speak up, and how to report cases.

Federal Ministry Women of Affairs, in November 2023, revealed Nigeria recorded 27,698 cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence between 2020 and 2023.

According to the data released, the ministry said 1,145 fatal GBV cases were recorded, while only 393 perpetrators were convicted within the period under review.

Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program PRIMORG uses to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.

The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.

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