Nasarawa Govt. Urges Families Of Rape Victims To Always Speak Out
From Ajegena Manga
The Nasarawa State Government has called on the families of rape victims to always speak out to enable the government to arrest and punish the perpetrators.
Hajiya Aisha Rufai-Ibrahim, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development made the call on Wednesday in Lafia while briefing newsmen ahead of the 2022 Children’s-day celebration.
According to the Commissioner, refusal by rape victims and their families to report cases to authorities is seriously affecting the fight to end the menace of rape and punish perpetrators.
“Available records revealed that most of the families of rape victims often choose not to cooperate with the prosecution of these cases due to fear of stigma and discrimination.
“It is unfortunate that we also have a significant number of children out of school for reasons associated with street hawking, early marriage, child labour and a host of others that the wellbeing, growth and development of the child,” she added.
The Commissioner explained that the ministry has embarked on a massive campaign in all the 13 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state to talk to traditional and religious leaders and other stakeholders to expose perpetrators in their communities.
She said that children are the means through which we have hope for the survival and continuity of humanity.
He said adults, therefore have a duty and responsibility to protect children, provide for their welfare and developmental needs and ensure that they grow up to be useful, productive and responsible adults and leaders of tomorrow.
“The issue of influx of Almajirai into the state is also of great concern to the state government. We have done a lot of advocacy to ensure that we do not have out of school children.
“The State Government is keying into a programme called ‘At-Risk Children Programme’ that addresses the situation of the vulnerable children, the out of school children and those that are out of family care who do not have formal education.
“We also have a lot of cases of trafficking in the state but some are not reported for fear of stigmatisation and discrimination,” she added.
Speaking on the activities lined up for the children’s day celebration, the Commissioner said special prayers for Children were offered on 20th and 22nd May, in Moslem and Christain places of worship respectively.
She, therefore, said that the children-day would climax with the celebration on May 27.