From Umar Dankano,Yola
Fifty four young people mostly teenagers have been confirmed Of being sexually abused (raped) in the last three months in Adamawa state.
A referral centre ‘Adamawa Hope Centre’ based in Yola for treatment of gender based violence victims disclosed that it recorded 54 rape cases between July 1 and October 3, 2019.
State Project Coordinator of a nongovernmental organisation, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC), Bar Haphsatu Abdullahi, whose organisation partners with the Hope Centre in seeking justice for rape victims said the cooperation, was timely.
Barristar Abdullahi at a stakeholder’s conference against rape held in Yola Tuesday stated that the victims were mostly below the age of 13 years
“From the 1st of July 2019 to 3rd of October 2019, 54 cases were reported to the centre,” she said.
Responding to a question from journalists who interviewed her, she said rape is either on the rise in the state or people are becoming more enlightened about the Hope Centre and learning to come away from the culture of silence to take advantage of the services of the centre.
The anti-rape Statekeholders Conference in Yola was initiated by a youth corps member, Miss Fatima Saka and funded by the European Union.
The youth corps member explained that the conference was a follow up of previous programme units targeted at curtailing rape.
“Before now we have been going to schools talking to students and teachers. Now is for stakeholders – traditional and community leaders, education managers, NGOs, and security agencies – to rob minds on how rape and other forms of gender violence can stop,” she explained.
One of the representatives of NGOs who attended the stakeholders function, Charity Onoja who is the Adamawa State Coordinator of International Republican Institute (IRI), blamed rampant rape cases on poor prosecution.
“Perpetuators are not being punished,” she asserted, adding, “we need the culture of adequately punishing perpetuators to make likely perpetuators fear that they could not do it and get away with it.”