The Sexual Assault Center of Gambo Sawaba General Hospital, Zaria on Wednesday solicited the support of religious and traditional leaders in sensitizing the public on its efforts to support sexual assault victims.
Hajiya Amina Umar-Faruk, the center manager made the call in Zaria during a sensitization workshop on the impact of Violence Against Children (VAC).
The workshop was organized by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
She said that the center had been doing a lot in terms of awareness creation but needed the assistance of community leaders as they were closer to the people.
She said that the center, popular known as Salama center, provides psychosocial counseling, free medication and legal intervention to survivors of sexual abuse.
The manager noted that the center was being supported by the state ministries of justice, health, human services and education.
Umar-Faruk stated that the center had so far received 88 cases since it opened in February 2019 with 15 cases reported in the month of October.
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“Out of the 88 cases, 46 were male while 42 were female with only two cases of physical violence perpetrated by survivors’ relatives.
“Most of the cases received are sexual abuse on minors; either rape or sodomy”, she said.
She decried the low support from the police in making sure perpetrators were convicted, noting that only one rapist was convicted to seven years imprisonment out of the 88 cases handled by the centre.
Also, Isah Ibrahim from Save the Children stated that timely procurement and distribution of free drugs for victims was needed for the center to be more effective.
He also urged the state government to recruit more manpower to manage the center and enable it run 24-hour service.
” There is also the need for government to set up state child protection law 2018 implementation committee”, he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state has four sexual assault centers located at Gwamna Awan specialist hospital and Yusuf Dantsoho specialist hospital in Kaduna, as well as the Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa memorial hospital, Kafanchan and Gambo Sawaba hospital, Zaria.