*…Launches online platform to fight menace
By Chioma Obinna
Lagos—NO fewer than 1,812 rape and other sexual assault victims including minors were treated by Mirabel Sexual Assault Referral Centre in three years, the Managing Partner of the Centre, Mrs. Itoro Eze-Anaba has disclosed.
Disclosing this yesterday in Lagos during the launch of Mirabel Mobile App, Eze-Anaba regretted that many of such victims may be denied further treatment due to lack of funds.
The Managing Partner of the Centre, who explained that Mirabel Mobile App, was specifically designed to tackle rape and female molestation, lamented that the centre now receives over 90 cases on monthly basis compared to the initial number of 25 and 80 percent when it started three years ago.
Eze-Anaba, who raised alarm at the rate sexual harassment was increasing in recent times, appealed to all stakeholders to unite against the ugly trend.
She said: “When we started on monthly basis, we had about 25 cases but now we receive more than 90 cases every month against the less than 80 in previous years. This could be due to increase in awareness and reporting.
“Among the survivors was a two-year-old child, who was sexually molested by her close relative. Others were a 12-year-old, who was impregnated after being raped and another 13-year-old girl who contacted Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) after suffering rape from her neighbour.”
“We received a case of a man who was raping his own two daughters – minors at the same time. Pastors, imams, teachers and other adults have been caught in the act. It is so disturbing that everybody needs to get involved in the campaign,” she added.
Eze-Anaba further appealed to the Lagos State Government, to urgently fulfil its promises to financially support the centre, adding that the centre is seriously challenged by short of funds.
According to her, “We are at the verge of shutting down now. We cannot afford to charge clients. Our services are free and meant to help victims. Partnership for Justice – United Kingdom’s organization has been the sole sponsor of the centre apart from few individuals who support in their own little ways.”
On the Mobile App, which is the first in Nigeria, the developer of the website, Mr. Stephen Adegbite of TEKANYU Solutions Limited, said the app would help victims out of their dangerous situations and further strengthen evidences against the perpetrators.