Lockdown: NGO decries surge in sexual abuse cases

 The Amazing Amazon Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), says  that there has been a surge in the reports of sexual and domestic  abuses her organisation has received since the start of the lockdown.

The Founder of the NGO, Mrs Mercy Makinde, said this while speaking with  the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.

Makinde, whose NGO focuses on the eradication of domestic and sexual violence, as well as the economic empowerment of women, said that the lockdown had  “brought about a huge surge in cases of sexual abuse and rape.

“We have always had cases of individuals raping their neighbours’ children the moment the parents are not looking.

“These are common scenarios in everyday life, but it has continued to be on the increase during the lockdown,” she said.

Makinde urged families to endeavour not be a part of the statistics for abuse during the duration of  the lockdown caused by  COVID-19.

She urged husbands and  wives to strive as much as possible to accommodate each other and their children during  this period.

“Also, fathers and mothers should be determined not to give access and opportunity for abuse of their children. If we are resolved to do this now, we will be able to carry it on even beyond lockdown.”

Makinde said that the Social Media had been an invaluable tool for alerting the authorities to various abuse scenarios.

” The Social Media has really been indispensable at this time, it has helped in many ways. We have used  the social media to escalate these cases a lot.

“For example, we used the social media to draw the attention of the Nigeria Police to the case of a lady who was brutally assaulted by some  policemen in Osun.

“We also used  the social media to get help for a rape victim in Oyo State.

” The Social Media has also been used to raise funds from kind-hearted Nigerians to support victims of abuse, widows and single mothers at this time,” the NGO founder said.

Makinde noted that the use of technology had been maximised adding that in some instances, her NGO made video calls to test the veracity of some of the claims by complainants.

“When people tag us, we make video calls where necessary to verify the true state of the narrative.

“We follow up with calls and use the social media where necessary to get the attention of the state government and other government agencies whose assistance we may need.

“Thankfully, we do not have any case that has gone unattended to because there is a lockdown. We have been doing the best we can in this situation,” Makinde said. (NAN)