The Salama Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, recorded 77 cases in September, the Centre Manager, Mrs Grace Abbin, has said.
Abbin told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday, in Kafanchan, that out of the number, five were rape cases while 72 others were cases of physical and emotional violence.
She decried the culture of silence in sexual assault cases, noting that relatives of perpetrators and victims always tried to frustrate the cases.
“We are particular about the best interest of the victims. In many rape cases, you find relatives and community leaders trying to silence the victim.
“You will see a father who has probably been bought by relatives of the perpetrator coming to say they have forgiven the perpetrator.
“They forget that rape is a case against the state, not even against an individual.
“People are more concerned about the perpetrators. Nobody seems to care about the victims and the after effects of the abuse on them,” she added
The centre Manager called for greater synergy between the center and security agencies, the media and religious leaders in breaking the culture of silence over sexual assault cases.
“We are looking to break the culture of silence that is really affecting us in our society.
“And to do that, we need more support and cooperation of all stakeholders, otherwise this will continue,” she said
She advised victims to always report to the Centre, within three days of being abused, to enable medical experts extract key ingredients needed to prosecute offenders.
NAN reports that the Centre is one of four in the state where victims of rape and other gender-based violence are given counseling, medical and optional legal interventions. (NAN)