Rape Kits: In the U.S., 1 in 5 girls and women are raped and 1 in 77 boys and men. Every minute 24 people are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. In Nigeria, the statistics are bound to be more gruesome but unfortunately, records are not nearly as accurately kept.
Apart from this, rape in Nigeria carries such a stigma, many victims do not report the crimes to the appropriate authorities. Worse still, many women who do report cases of rape are victimized and often humiliated by the very people expected to protect them.
Lagos State is once again blazing the trail and setting the right trends in the fight against rape in the country.
It remains to be seen if the campaign is sustained and ultimately leads to the arrest and conviction of offenders.
However, when the rape kits initiative is combined with the recently announced setting up of the DNA centre, another initiative of the Lagos State government under Governor Akin Ambode, it does seem that the introduction of the rape kits will indeed be successful.
The Story: Worried by frequent cases of sexual violence in the state, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Primary Health Care Board have launched the Sexual Assault Standing Order and Sexual Assault Evidence Examination Kit, also referred to as rape kits to tackle the problem in the state.
The Coordinator of the DSVRT, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi who revealed this in a statement yesterday said the launch was done at a training session for Health workers of Primary Health Care Centres across the state.
According to her, five pilot centres have been established at Ogudu, Ita-elewa in Ikorodu, Ajilete in Ifako-Ijaiye, Mushin and Oshodi-Isolo areas of the state , saying the selection of the pilot PHC’s was methodically done as statistic reveals that sexual and gender based assault related crimes are most prevalent in these areas.
“These centres render 24 hours service, laboratory, HIV Counselling and Testing, and Maternal and Child Health Services. The Rape Kits contain the necessary instruments used for evidence gathering and examination some of which include microscope slides, saline water, swabs for collecting fluids from delicate body parts like the lips, cheeks, thighs, private parts.