By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – An Activist and Founder of Village Debbo Care Initiative, (VDCare), Kaduna, Ms Samira Modibbo, has expressed dismay over spike in rape cases in the country, saying it is not only women, but boys were also victims of the menace.
She stated this while speaking to the media in Kaduna on Monday, June 22, 2020.
Ms Modibbo who said the spike in sexual abuse during COVID-19 lockdown, is believed to have been caused when perpertrators were also locked together with their victims at the period, and as they see children around them this spurred a potential rapist to commit the crime.
She warned that perpetrators of sexual abuse will no long walk free after committing such crimes in Kaduna state.
The Executive Director of VDCare reminded rapists that there were laws in place to prosecute them, stressing that her organization and many other citizens are volunteering to join in the fight against the menace in the state.
“We will not let rapists go scot free, as we are out to protect women and young boys. Right now rape is not only about women, but going by our organization’s recent cases, most victims are young boys.
“Perpetrators of sexual abuse should know there are laws put in place for prosecution to make sure they are convicted for the crimes.
“If rapists think they can commit these crimes and go free, I tell you though the criminal justice system in the country may not be effective as it should be, right now there is a serious rise by people including Goverment against them,” she warned.
Modibbo, whose organization, is working towards promoting and protecting rights generally, explained that, sexual abused is not a new thing in Nigeria as it has been happening, but now people are beginning to speak more about it than before.
She said there were no denials that there is spike in rape during the periof of lockdown, and urged victims and caregivers to break the culture of silence and speak out when such crime is committed so that organizations fighting their cause could amplify their voices.
She however cautioned victims not to worry about victimization as people will always talk about it; saying “stigmatization should not be an issue. If you do not speak out the rapist will go on to his next victim, and the vicious circle continues,” she warned.
Moddibo who was irked by the menace, said rape is an insult to womanhood as even animals were not doing what humans are doing, saying it calls for a collective fight to end it.
On the way forward, she said “We are actually proposing a stiffer punishment for rape. Let there be a death by hanging sentence, or castration.”
The VDCare boss tasked parents to owned up to sex education of their children, adding that sex education is the greatest negligence of today’s parents.
She equally called on Government to put policy in place that will prioritized rape cases, and judgment passed within a maximum of one month.
“This is because most victims’ parents are poor and has no financial muscles to pursue their case. As the case prolonged such parents usually get frustrated and feel they won’t get justice, hence they dropped it,” she said.