From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Commissioner of Police in charge of Benue State, CP Mukkaddas Garba has lamented the increasing spate of sexual assault especially, the rape of minors in the state.
Garba made the lamentation yesterday at the Benue State University (BSU) during the dissemination of research findings workshop organized by the institution’s Center for Gender Studies .
The Center had carried out researches on two topics including ‘Sexual Assault in Benue: Prevalence, Pattern and the Silent Burden’ as well as ‘Community Participation in Identifying and Curbing the Menace of Domestic Violence in Benue State’.
The Police Commissioner who was represented by the Gender Officer in the state Police Command, SUPOL Ann Ameh, regretted that no day passes without at least one rape case being reported to the police in the state.
“The issue of sexual assault is alarmingly on the increase on a daily basis in Benue. There is no day that such issues are not reported to the police in the state. And that is just few among them as many are not reported at all for fear of stigmatization.”
CP Garba said all hands must be on deck to check the menace, while pledging his full commitment to partnering with relevant organizations to reduce the crime to its barest minimum.
Earlier in a welcome address, Director of the Center, Prof. Chinwe Omuodumogu said the two research topics are currently in the front burners of the societal discourse at all levels because of their negative impact on individuals, families, communities and the larger society.
“Sexual abuse and domestic violence leave the perpetrators and their victims bitter, disgruntled, psychologically and socially maladjusted, though the effect on direct victims is more devastating.”
While declaring the dissemination open, Vice Chancellor. (VC) of the University, Prof. Msugh Kembe who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Agbo Omudu said the issue of sexual harassment and gender violence have always been in the media with the latest being the investigation which was carried out by BBC at the University of Lagos.