Enugu records 51 Cases Of Sexual Harassment, Rapes Between April And August
By Joy Ekeke
The Executive Director of Women Aid Collective, Dr Joy Ezeilo, said, no fewer than 51 minors were sexually abused or raped in Enugu State between April 2014 and August 27, 2014.
While speaking to newsmen at a media roundtable organised by the Sexual Assault and Referral Centre (SARC) in Enugu on Tuesday, Ezeilo said that 45 adults were also victims’ of rape in the state during the period of review.
She listed the number of cases to include 30 rape cases, four attempted rapes, 10 sexual assaults, 37 defilements and 15 other cases of domestic violence.
Ezeilo said the cases took place in 14 local government areas in the state.
She listed the local government areas to include Aninri (two cases), Enugu East (28), Enugu South (19), Igboeze South (1), Nkanu East (6), Nsukka (1), Udi (7), Awgu (2) and Oji-River (1).
Others are Enugu North (15 cases), Ezeagu (1), Isiuzo (2), Nkanu West (2), and Uzo-Uwani (2).
She said that three other cases were reported from outside the state.
“We have recorded 96 cases of rape or sexual assault. We want the government to begin to consider a budget to care for sexual assault victims,” she said.
According to her, 77 persons out of the victims know the perpetrators while 15 do not know the perpetrators.
She lamented that 16 persons out of the perpetrators were family members of the victims. The director also expressed dismay at the increasing cases of rape by Fulani cattle rearers in the rural areas.
Ezeilo called on traditional rulers, community leaders and community members to help guard against rape in the different communities.
The manager of the centre in the state, Mrs Nkechi Nwabueze, said it was in collaboration with the Enugu State Government and the police to prosecute rapists.
Nwabueze said the centre, a gender response project, was set up to provide a rapid, holistic and high quality free medical, counseling and other support services to victims and survivors of sexual assault in the state.
According to her, the center is being supported by the Department for International Development (DFID) and Justice for All.
Some journalists who spoke at the event stressed the need for stakeholders to join hands in fighting the menace.
Mrs. Gloria Orji-Emodi of Dream FM said the event was a welcome development, adding that it would help to sensitize the public.
“This is a good idea because it will help people, especially the victims, to know that there is a centre where to address their complaints,” she said.
On his part, Mr Dennis Agbo of the National Mirror called on media organizations to collaborate with one another to publicise rape cases.
“We do not need to hide the culprits. We need to make them know that all eyes are on them to reduce these cases,” he said.