Nigerians have been cautioned to desist from justifying rape or risk getting arrested as suspects by the Director General of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs Julie Okah-Donli.
The DG of NAPTIP warned while answering questions from newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.
“Henceforth, anyone who justifies rape will be arrested and treated as a suspect. Victim shaming and blaming must stop, culture of silence must be broken. Shame is the portion of RAPIST. EMPATHY AND JUSTICE is victim’s. Let’s not normalize Rape.”
“There is no national template for RAPE victims trauma response. The trauma varies from individual to individual. Rape thirty years ago is rape today”
” Your body, your clothes, skin and semen of the rapist are veritable evidence needed to convict and jail rapists. Call NAPTIP on 07030000203 or *627# to report rape today.”
“NAPTIP response template for RAPE victims,
Do not bath,
Do not change your cloths.
Pick evidences like condom/wipes. Don’t destroy it.
Go to hospital immediately/ demand for medical report.
Report to NAPTIP/closest Police station.”
“Rape is a sad reality in Nigeria. Mostly unreported due to trust gap, victim stigma, intimidation, cultural barriers, religious sentiments, powerlessness of victims in seeking justice”
According to her 90 per cent of rape cases were committed by uncles, fathers and relations and this made her query parents for not doing enough to care for their wards.
She added that many careless acts by parents are responsible for rape cases across the country therefore, the agency would approach the Ministry of Justice to push for the establishment of special court to try rapists.
Okah-Donli also called for life imprisonment instead of capital punishment for convicted rapists, adding that there was need to educate Nigerians, especially neighbours on rape issues.
NAPTIP’s toll-free lines to call during distress, especially as it concerns rape are – 07030000203, 0802255627847 and 08077225566. Reports can also be made on social media platforms such as the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others.
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