By Chijioke Okoronkwo
The National Economic Council (NEC) has approved the creation of referral centers for sexual assault in the country.
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa briefed State House correspondents on Thursday after a virtual NEC meeting in Abuja.
The virtual meeting of the NEC was chaired by the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Sule said Hajia Sadiya Farouk, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, made a presentation to the council on the establishment and management of referral centers for sexual assault.
“This clearly has to do with some of the challenges we face in the country today, when it comes to rape and the effects of rape on our own children.
“The presentation was actually meant to educate NEC about how sexual assault can have a devastating impact on all aspects of survivors.
“There can also be a long-term psychological and physical impact as presented by the Minister.
“They understand the depression, the anxiety, the inability of these kinds of people to sleep. So the council has taken the matter very seriously and is dealing with and considering the creation of these centers.
“And there has been a lot of encouragement from various governors to make sure they also help the minister put this in place.”
The governor said the issues of women, girls and boys who had also suffered injustices and sexual violence had been discussed.
He said the recent report showed that the rate of sexual violence in parts of Nigeria was on the rise.
“According to the survey carried out in July 2019, one in three girls has suffered at least one form of sexual assault / abuse or another in the past 25 years.
“The government has therefore recognized the importance of multi-stakeholder and collaborative efforts to improve criminal justice as the area of sexual assault is fair in Nigeria.
“The goals of the centers we mentioned will actually limit these kinds of physical and mental health consequences of rape.
Sule said the centers would also look at immediate and ongoing psychological support, including assessment of risk of harm and vulnerability of people experienced in specialty areas.
According to him, the centers will help to contact the police, the social welfare service and civil society organizations, where appropriate.
He said they would provide follow-up services and there would also be accessibility and 24-hour referrals.
“The centers will also serve victims of recent rapes, serious assaults, regardless of their gender, because these types of assault are not reserved for girls. Sometimes boys are also involved.
“Centers will be limited to victims over the age of 14 or 16, while others will see pediatric cases and younger adolescents depending on the availability of resources and the local charge in place for services at the clinic. ‘childhood.
“The cost of starting the centers is N 2.5 per month, which covers the cost of an average of 50 clients, including administration costs.
“The center has also received support from over 6,050 survivors of sexual abuse as well as children,” said Sule. (NAA)