Why Justice Elude Rape Victims – Erelu Bisi Fayemi

August 3, 2013

Erelu Bisi Fayemi flanked by the GBVL management committee members and officials of the health ministry during the visit.

Ninety-five per cent of rape cases suffer from diligent prosecution, while perpetrators walk free, because of lack of watertight forensic and physical evidence. The situation is worsened by dearth of forensic laboratories in the country.

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, stated this when she led members of the state’s Gender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Law Management Committee on advocacy visit to the ministry of health.

As part of remedial measures, she advocated the establishment of rape crisis centre across the sixteen local government areas of the state.
Stressing the urgent need for the centre, she said it would give opportunity to victims of sexual assault to receive succour in an atmosphere of confidentiality.

When established, she urged the ministry to ensure that the centres were manned by skilled scientists and specialists and equipped with modern kits to assist in gathering reliable forensic evidence.
The centre will equally ensure that information and data gathered from victims were meticulously preserved to assist the police and other law enforcement officers to bring offenders to justice.

The governor’s wife said health officials that would be posted to the centres should be carefully selected and trained to be sensitive and sympathetic to the victims.
Erelu Bisi Fayemi, who is the chairperson of the management committee, said the members had paid similar advocacy visits to critical stakeholders to stem the tide of violence against women and girls in the state.

According to her, the team had visited the Ekiti State University, state judiciary, ministry of justice and state police command headquarters in an effort aimed at promoting the GBVL.
She stressed the need to have forensic and physical evidence that would enable the police and the courts to diligently prosecute rape and other cases of assault against women.

“If there is no forensic evidence to back such a claim, the case falls apart in court. That is why 95 per cent of sexual violence cases don’t get prosecuted,” Erelu Fayemi said.

The governor’s wife urged health institutions across the state to treat issues of gender-based violence with seriousness, as well as provide regular training on treatment of GBV patients.

In a position paper, the GBVL management committee called for health talks and awareness creation in the communities on how victims of GBV could access medical treatment.

The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Olusola Fasubaa, promised to ensure that the demands of the committee were met in good time as part of the contribution of the ministry to the campaign against gender-based violence.
He, however, solicited the assistance of the state government for the establishment of a forensic laboratory in the state.

The commissioner advised rape victims to visit specialists and general hospitals situated near them immediately after the act was committed to enable experts to attend to them and preserve evidence.
On the entourage of the governor’s wife were the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment, Mrs. Fola Richie-Adewusi; and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Peju Babafemi, among others top officials.

Last modified: August 3, 2013

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