The Restoration of the Dignity of Womanhood, ROTDOW, has organised a Virtual Town Hall meeting aimed at identifying Strategies to combat the prevailing sexual abuse against minors and rape incidents.
According to a communique issued at the end of the meeting, which was made available to JATS Online Newspaper by ROTDOW’s founder, the event identified factors that are encouraging the spike in sexual abuse and rape, and came up with Strategies to combat the menace.
The meeting, which draws participants from NGOs handling children-related issues, officers of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, media and medical practitioners, Lawyers, and other experts calls for the enforcement of rape and sexual abuse register in every State in Nigeria.
It reads: “TV/Radio Campaigns, Poster Campaigns and Social Media Campaigns to inform rapist and the society of rape and sexual abuse consequences.
“Awareness and sensitization in primary, secondary and tertiary schools to speak
up against rape, while hospitals and laboratories should be well equipped for forensics and detailing facts that can convict perpetrators of rape and sexual abuse.
“Parents should be encouraged to instill right culture into their children”.
“It was noted that our environment encourages sexual violence due to the persistent gender inequality and the society attitude towards gender and sexuality.
Some factors recognized by the participants, fuelling the rise in
rape and sexual abuse are non-persecution of rape and sexual abuse perpetrators, include inadequate evidence, as sexual abuse is based on verbal evidence.
Others are, influence of western culture, COVID-19 pandemic, male dominance and Power and rituals.
The participants called on States’ Houses of Assembly to enforce moderation in dressing, noting that indecent dressing was noted as an invitation to rape or sexual abuse in some quarters.
They also called for the need to demystify male dominance culture and decongest media space of sex and its innuendoes- music videos and nollywood.
“The Video and Music Censor Boards should work against objectifying women
(using women for promotional videos)
“/Hawking for minors should be banned”, it reads.
Based on the survey conducted to understand the attitudes of Nigerians towards sexual abuse and rape ,100% of the respondents believed that they will appreciate if they know of
bodies or institutions handling sexual abuse or rape issues.
Some institutions were therefore listed out which include, Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) an organization under Lagos State Government, which the participants encouraged other states to replicate, NUJ, NAWOJ, MIRABEL Centre, NAPTIP, etc
In accordance with the survey conducted by ROTDOW prior to the meeting, where 77.8 of the respondents believe that children victims of rape and sexual abuse do not receive adequate assistance, the participants came up with a 6-man committee who will work assiduously in getting in touch with victims of sexual abuse and rape to counsel, and help in their healing process.