Abuja(SundiataPost) –Two legal practitioners have called on government agencies and NGOs to create more awareness on rape to encourage victims to report cases for proper apprehension and punishment of offenders.
The lawyers, Mr Emmanuel Ochai and Mrs Oluremi Alake, made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.
According to Alake, government agencies and NGOs should come out to create more awareness on rape and also encourage victims to report cases for proper apprehension and punishment of offenders.
“Organisations should ensure their involvement in providing counselling for victims and also their families,” she said.
Alake said that there was still a lot of stigma attached to rape, which had led to underreporting of such cases.
She said that most rape victims were being name tagged and treated as outcast, which had kept them silent about the consequences.
“As a result of shame, stigmatisation and self blame, most rape cases are not reported and these had contributed to its increase,” Alake said.
In his remarks, Ochai said that cases of rape had also become an increasing trend in the society due to poor value system and inadequate checks.
“This is most common in the justice delivery system to investigate, apprehend and punish culprits.
“Also, the mode of investigation are not professional enough which exposes the victims to fear and stigmatisation.
“Most times, victims are ostracised and blamed for something which is in most or all cases never their faults, but the society which does not treat them as victims.
“This is the main reason why these victims should be protected, most especially when investigations are still going on,” he said.
Ochai, however, called for emotional and psychological rehabilitation of rape victims to help them incorporate well, especially for younger victims.
He said this would encourage other victims to speak out, adding that it would also allay the fear of insecurity from such victims. (NAN)