…To provide shelter for rape survivors in Agidingbi
The Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Bolaji Dada, has called for stiffer penalties – death sentence and castration – as drastic measures against the increasing rates of rape cases and other forms of sexual abuses in the state.
Dada – who also canvassed for proper parenting, monitoring of social media content exposure, alleviation of poverty, unbroken marriages among others – said they were solutions to the heinous crime.
This was the commissioner’s submission at a colloquium organised by the United Action for Change, with the theme “Contextualisation of the rape culture and sexual assault in Nigeria, the search for multidimensional remedy”.
“Although there are various laws that ensure offenders do not go unpunished in different parts of the country, ignorance and culture of silence had beclouded the fighting spirit to contend offenders,” she stated.
According to Dada, poor parenting remains one of the root causes of rape especially in the country. “Some parents in Nigeria are best described as absentee parents who transfer their roles to helpers and neighbors without considering the effect on their wards”.
Listing poverty and illiteracy as the two hydra-headed monsters fanning the rate of recorded rape cases in addition to breakdown in marriages, the commissioner said it makes the products of such union vulnerable to the society.
“All of the above mentioned make children susceptible and turned them to endangered species that could be easily harassed, attacked and raped by everyone, including biological parents.”
Speaking further, she adds, “In some cases, drug usage and abuse account for committal of sexual offences. Also, mental ailment which may be a product of drug abuse encourages sexual assault; while some might be occult related depending on situations and circumstances.
“We cannot downplay the role of the internet; particularly social media where all manner of pornography can be watched by hungry youths, paedophiles and socio psychologically maladjusted males with as little as 100 naira data. This is compounded by corruption of public morals that occurs daily in public spaces.”
She, therefore, urged parents to encourage both male and female children and even adult victims to speak out as the culture of silence had greatly enhanced rape and sexual assault in the past.
“All states of the federation needs to have a data-base on Gender Based Violence; particularly rape. The need for increased forensic training cannot be overemphasised,” she noted.
Continuing in her fight against rape, she recommended training and retraining of obstetricians, gynecologists and newly recruited ones on how to handle issues pertaining to sexual violence in the state.
She, however, assured the state that the ministry of women affairs and poverty alleviation has carefully laid out plans and programmes on how to help rape and sexual assaults survivors.Follow us on social media