The Gombe State Office of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday advised parents to always speak up against rape to protect children and ensure reduction of rape cases in the state.
Mr Mohammed Abari, the Assistant Chief Investigation Officer of the commission, gave this advice in an interview with the Newsmen in Gombe.
“The danger of not reporting cases of rape when it happens is that it puts other children in the society at risk because a culprit that is not prosecuted will continue with his heinous acts.’’
According to him, cases of rape are not reducing in the state, but parents are not willing to report the incidents for fear of stigmatisation and respect for elders who administer the affairs of communities.
“A parent, whose child has been violated, must speak up as a way of reducing rape and protecting other children in the state. It is dangerous to keep mute in such situation.
“Cases of rape are not reducing, and parents are not reporting for fear of stigmatisation. They refuse to report for confidentiality. If all cases are not reported, rape will continue to be on the increase,” he said.
Abari said that some parents failed to report such cases because elders within the community might beg them against taking such a decision, having promised to settle all medical bills and both parties would agree.
“The danger of not reporting is that it puts other children at risk. So, I advise parents to shout out and insist on the proper punishment, and should not bow to communal settlement,” the official said.
He appealed to communities to encourage reporting of such cases, adding that the commission would carry out more sensitisation in this regard to encourage parents speak up on rape matters.