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69% of rape and sexual violence survivors are under the age of 18, WARIF reveals data

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TUE, JULY 30 2019-theG&BJournal-Women at Risk International Foundation, a non-profit organization which was set up in response to the high incidence of rape and sexual violence in Nigeria has released data exposing the alarming rate of rape and sexual violence incidents especially among minors.

The organization seeks to reduce these numbers by using their holistic “WARIF Approach” to tackle these issues through Awareness/Sensitization Programs and Post Incident Care of survivors of gender-based violence.

Data reported from the WARIF Centre, indicates that over 1,100 girls in less than 3 years  have been attended to at the WARIF Centre, of which  759 (accounts for 69% ) were minors between the ages of 0-18 years old.

Also reported, based on monitoring and evaluation of the number of these cases by the Foundation since inception,   the incidents of sexual assault was highest in 2018 making up 45% of the incidents reported till date.

The WARIF Rape Crisis Centre in Lagos, Nigeria offers medical care to rape survivors which include Forensic Medical Examinations, Treatment of physical Injuries, the dispensation of Emergency Contraceptives, administration of Post Exposure Prophylaxis which prevents HIV/AIDS, Psychosocial counseling, and referrals for associated services such as Legal Aid among others.

The founder of WARIF, Dr. Kemi DaSilva Ibru; an Obstetrician and Gynecologist stated that “WARIF was established in response to a grave need in our society – 25% of our female population were being exposed to various acts of sexual violence  and rape. Majority of these young women had nowhere to access free health care or seek help after their abuse. At WARIF, we ensure that all women are supported with all their needs addressed, for their healing and recovery process.”

‘’With the alarming rate of sexual assault survivors coming out to speak, organizations like WARIF who have been at the forefront of this menace are prepared to do all they can to support these survivors,’’ DaSilva Ibru said.

Speaking on the 24-hour confidential helpline being run by the centre, it was reported that 632 calls in the last 2 years have been received from people calling to report cases of gender-based violence and seek counselling from trained therapists at the WARIF Centre.

The organization has also launched group therapy sessions from June 2019 to support survivors who relive the trauma of their past experiences and in 2 months, 60 women have come to WARIF for these sessions, 83.9% of which are below the age of 30 years.

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