As Kaduna Records 2,656 Cases In Three Years
The Kaduna State Government said on Wednesday that it recorded 2,656 reported cases of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in three years in the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) located in Zaria, Kaduna and Kafanchan.
Director, Youth Development, Ministry of Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Maryam Mua’zu restated this during a one-day public/private sector shared learning engagement in Kaduna State organised by Lawyers Alert and Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) under the USAID-funded Nigeria Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project.
According to her, in 2020, there were 416 cases affecting 72 males and 344 females. In 2021, 619 persons including 139 males and 480 females were affected while in 2022, the number rose to 1,621 comprised of 316 males and 1,305 females including minors were either victims or survivors of SGBV.
She clarified that the increment was due to awareness of the subject matter which is now translating into affected persons or their family members speaking out against the culture of silence hitherto associated with the issue in the State.
“If we look at the trend carefully, it does not wholly means there is an increase in the number of cases between the three years, it simply means people are now speaking up on SGBV.
“For example, we have young girls who are married off coming to the SARCs (which are strategically located inside hospitals to guide against possible stigmatization), to complain about being forced to marry someone they don’t love.
“Again, we can see that the number of boys who are falling victim to SGBV is also on the increase. So, it is not just about girls now and that means we have a lot of work to do beginning from family and organisations”, she decried.
Earlier, Acting Executive Director, LANW, Mrs. Hannatu Ahuwan said, the objectives of the engagement were to engender dialogue between relevant government agencies and the private sector towards bridging the gap for the provision of resources for the SARCs as well as to elicit commitments from private sector stakeholders in support of resource mobilisation for the SARCs towards improved service delivery.
“In pushing for the full implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP), the partnering organisations identified equipping SARCs as one of the key actions needed for effective service delivery for survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the State”, she noted.
Lawyers Alert is a human rights organisation that promotes the rights of women and other vulnerable groups in Nigeria while LANW is a non-governmental organization that focuses on the rights of women and children, governance and accountability, advocacy and policy reform issues in Nigeria.
There were remarks from the representatives of the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense, Civil Society groups, and Community-Based Organisations among others – with a commitment to mobilize resources to enhance referrer centres’ service delivery.