By Mercy Osajiugo
Minna – A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Rayuwa Sexual Assault Referral Centre, has carried out sensitisation on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in 25 local government areas of Niger.
Dr Inegbenose Inegbenijie, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the NGO, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Friday.
He said that such sensitisation had become necessary because many did not know what gender-based violence was and ignorance would not be accepted.
He said that they embarked on such a tour to create awareness among the people, the community heads and the emirs.
“Some do not know that a man having sexual intercourse with a child is against the law.
“Also that some people used to initiate in-house settlements of such cases without the consent of the victim is also an offence.
“So many rape cases had been settled by community heads with the victims’ families in the past which most time used to involve the exchange of money and gifts.
“This necessitated the sensitisation tour because culprits have to be dealt with according to the law, the abused need justice; the law must take its cause.
“If the culprits are not dealt with, the ugly trend will continue,’’ he said.
Inegbenijie said that they might not be able to mitigate the incidence of rape and its kinds in Minna and Niger in general if the culprits were not brought to book.
The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the NGO also said that they had been to schools to carry out sensitisation against the vice.
He said that they shared flyers, information materials and educative materials among students to help raise awareness about the scourge.
He added that they also gave their contact numbers to the authorities of schools they visited should there be the need for them to contact them.