By: Aisha Saad
Religious and Traditional leaders have been Sensitized on the need to report rape cases to Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).
The sensitization meeting was held on Wednesday, at conference hall, Ministry of Women Affairs , where 13 Ward Heads, their deputy's, religious and tradition leaders were in attendance.
The Adamawa State Government through Ministries of Justice and Women Affairs, in collaboration with British Council, have established a sexual assault referral centre( SARC), also known as Adamawa HOME CENTRE. It was launched last year and it is situated at the Specialist Hospital here in Yola, where survivors of rape are given free medical, legal and psyco- social support.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Women Affairs, Haj. Maisaratu Bello, stated that, several rape cases have been reported to the Ministry and they have succeeded in intervening through forwarding the cases to the appropriate authorities for legal action to take place. She lamented that cases of Sexual Assault is worrisome in our societies. And, called on all and sundry to put hands on deck to ensure they stem down the dreaded menace.
In the same vain, the Chairperson, Sexual Assault Referral Center (SARC) Barr. Fadimatu Abbo Jimeta, announced that, according to the criminal act law, “any perpetrator of rape will be jailed for 21 years imprisonment”.
She warned members of the society to shun interference with the law when a perpetrator is awaiting trial.
More so, she enumerated some remarkable achievements recorded by the centre, thus; since inception, about 135 cases were treated, 23 offenders are awaiting trial, in the month of June, the centre recorded 14 cases of rape who are mostly minors.
She warned parents and guardians to stop girl child hawking because most of the survivors are hawkers. She also charged them to break the culture of silence and imbibe the culture of early reporting and early response.
While commending efforts of the duos, the Ward Head of Damilu, appreciated them for recognising and collaborating with them as stakeholders in the society. He called on legal practitioners to treat such cases on time because justice delayed is justice denial. He further promised to disseminate the message to his subjects.