Centre records 160 cases of sodomy, rape in Zamfara



The Sexual Assult Referral Centre(SARC) in Zamfara on Tuesday said it had recorded a total of 160 cases of sodomy, defilement and rape in one year.

The Coordinator of the centre, Ahmed Shehu, made this known in Gusau while receiving members of the Zamfara Children Parliament who were on a visit.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the visit to the centre and remand home in Gusau was supported by the Save the Children International, an NGO.

Shehu said that the cases involved mostly under age children and teenagers.

He described the rate of rape and assault of children in the state as alarming, saying there was cause for serious concern.

“We received a case of a father who assaulted his four-year- old biological daughter.

” We need both governmental and individual support on this issue, especially at the community level,” he said.

Shehu, who said the centre was facing a serious challenge in the area of funding, noted that this was affecting its ability to carry out its responsibilities.

“We are seriously facing inadequate funding and lack of enough accommodation.

“We need government support to improve this centre, especially to expand it in a way that we can admit more victims.

“The current situation is that we cannot admit victims; we can only treat people.

“We want to have  children room and the standard SARC cannot be completed without children room,” he said.

He thanked the state Ministries of Justice, Health as well as Women, Children and Social Development for the support they had been giving to the centre.

Shehu, however, called on the people, especially parents, to be vigilant and monitor their children.

He also urged parents hiding rape cases involving their children to always report such incidents, saying they were not doing them any good.

Earlier, Sumayya Aminu-Aliyu, the Speaker of the Children Parliament in the state, said that the visit was part of efforts to assess the situation and challenges affecting children in the state.

“We believe rape, sodomy and other sexual assaults are among major challenges affecting children.

“Whatever we gathered today, we are going to report it to policymakers through advocacy,” Aminu-Aliyu said.

In her remarks, Hajiya Zainab Gummi, the State Commissioner of Women, Children and Social Development, commended the children’s parliament for the visit, describing it as timely.

Gummi, represented by Hajiya Hauwa Tukur, the Director of Child Development, said that the ministry was ever ready to partner with other MDAs, NGOs and CSOs to evolve policies for child development.

“We are currently working  with the Save the Children International for domestication of the Child Rights Act,” she said. (NAN)