A non governmental organization in Lagos state, Southwest Nigeria, the Women At Risk International Foundation WARIF, says it will this week, open a new care centre where victims of sexual violence could get immediate medical and psychosocial attention.
The Chief Executive of WARIF Dr Kemi DaSilva-Ibru said the Sexual Assault Referral Centre will be based in Yaba and will provide 24-hour support to victims and survivors of rape and sexual violence.
In addition to clinical and forensic medical services, DaSilva-Ibru said that the centre would also provide “long-term therapy to survivors and integrate them successfully back into society’’.
She said “it is our primary social responsibility to ensure that all young girls and women live in a society free of rape and social violence’’.
According to DaSilva-Ibru, WARIF has established partnerships with US-based Washington DC Rape Crisis Centre (DCRCC) and several government and non-government organisations to achieve its objectives.
Indira Henard, DCRCC Director, who was at the briefing on Lagos also said that “the establishment of WARIF was a game changer for sexual assault survivors in a timely manner.”
The center is scheduled to be opened on Thursday.
According to the WHO, Sexual violence is “any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting”. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object.”
Global estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
WHO adds that among other consequences, intimate partner violence and sexual violence can lead to unintended pregnancies, induced abortions, gynaecological problems, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.