Law News
Sexual assault: Mirabel Centre seeks special court

Stakeholders have called for a special court for perpetrators of all forms of sexual violence against women in Nigeria.


Stating this position at an Awareness Walk on Rape organised by the Partnership for Justice with support from Justice For All (J4A) project of the Department for International Development (DFID) UK as part of the annual United Nations 16 days of Activism on Violence Against Women and in celebration of the first anniversary of the Mirabel Centre, Lagos  noted that poor handling of rape cases and sexual assault by the authorities, saying such attitudes many occasion discourages victims to seek judicial intervention.”

In a chat with Good Health weekly during the 30 km walk, Executive Director/Managing partner, Partnership for Justice, Mrs. Itoro Eze- Anaba, said the creation of special courts would guarantee more commitment, enforcement and justice for victims.

“Regrettably, there are no laws at national level to protect women from violence and the dimension of violence in our society is increasing every day, although there are about six states that have laws that protect women from violence but the enforcement has not received the proper seriousness it deserves.”

“Eze- Anaba who is also the Executive Director of Mirabel Centre explained that the walk was to create awareness on sexual violence as well as violence against women. These also collide with activities to celebrate one year anniversary at Mirabel centre.” She added

She said since the commencement of activities last year, the centre has received over 450 clients with some area in Lagos state exhibiting high cases of rape.

“These victims that approach us have been given free medical care and counselling service. The youngest client we have is 18 months and the oldest is 70 years old. We have area that have high incidence of rape in which Kosofe Local government top the list followed by Alimosho and we record serial rape in Ikeja as well as Agege. So it is time we start documenting so that when they move from one location to the other those in that new location will be at alert of the danger in their area.” Eze-Anaba further pointed out the role of the community leaders and individuals in ending the evil in the communities, adding that if the communities can stand up that they don’t want violence in their areas and not blame the victims but point hands to the perpetrator, those perpetrators will begin to see their action as a crime.

“Right now, there is high level of impunity and people do it and get away with it. But if we begin to enforce laws right from the community level, people will begin to see that if they abuse women or sexually assault a young girl they will not get away with it then it will serve as road to end such evil act”

While appreciating the Lagos State Government for their frequent support, she however called for support from individuals, private and public organisation to support the activities of the centre so as to bring an end to assault against womanhood.

Responding, Lagos State team of Special Adviser to the Deputy Governor, Mrs Riskat Akeyode, Permanent-Secretary to the Deputy-Governor’s office, Mr. Micheal Dawodu and the Director of Account at the Ministry of Women Affair and Poverty Alleviation, however, assured the group that government will not relent in its support.

“The Lagos State government will not entertain rape and we are assuring you that we are together in this struggle and we are going to put in place policy to assist all women- both young and old. The educational system that we run will be sensitised to know that rape is violence against women.”


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