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April 20, 2024

NGO calls for collaboration to defeat sexual offences, crime

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By Deborah Akpede

 A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Mirabel Centre, has called on Nigerians to join hands to end sexual violence.

In a statement issued in Ikeja on Monday, the NGO urged Nigerians to support survivors by creating a safe and inclusive environment for them to speak out, so that the atrocious crime could be defeated.

It stated that one in every three women had experienced some sort of sexual assault or the other in their lifetime.

“Someone we know, love or work with could be a survivor.

“Rape or sexual assault affects the victims physically, emotionally, mentally and socially, it can be shattering, leaving survivors being scared, ashamed, and alone or plagued by nightmare, flashbacks, and other unpleasant memories.”

According to the statement, Mirabel Centre is Nigeria’s first Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), which provides support services for survivors of sexual assault.

“We provide direct free forensic medical care, legal and psycho-social support for
men, women and children, who have either recently or in the past experienced rape or sexual assault.

“In nine years of operations, we have provided direct support for no less than 8,000 survivors, who have gone through the trauma of sexual assault.

“The youngest survivor was a three-month-old baby and the oldest, an 82-year-old woman.

“We look forward to providing help for more survivors,” the statement stated.

The centre appealed to people to stop blaming victims, but to support, encourage and make them realise  they are not alone.

The NGO stated that a concerned citizen could report on behalf of a person being sexually abused, so they could rescue the person.

It said that anyone sexually abused should access help on time by going to its centre located inside Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, or call the helplines 0815577000008187243468 (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Abdulfatai Beki/Ifeyinwa Omowole

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