Julie Okah-Donli, Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, has attributed the prevalence of rape cases in Nigeria to parental negligence in training the male child as well as delay in serving justice to rapists.
She told SaharaReporters that Nigeria’s socio-cultural climate supports female subjugation which can lead to increased incidents of rape.
She said, “Parental negligence and lack of proper training of male children; one-sidedness in cultural orientation with excessive attention on the girl child. Non-existence of Violent Against Persons Laws in some states, sociocultural climate that support female subjugation, low reportage of cases of violence and rape to avoid the resultant stigmatisation and delayed justice in some cases occasioned by prolonged proceedings.”
The NAPTIP DG said as part of solutions to protect the female child, there has to be deliberate attempts to domesticate the the Violence Against Persons Act (2015) in all states of the federation.
She added, “Increased and continuous reorientation of parents on the need for gender balance in the exposure of their children to home training.
“Increased advocacy for the domestication of the Violence Against Persons Act (2015) in all the states of the federation or promulgation of similar legislations.
“Intensified sensitization against gender-based violence and rape and continuous capacity building for relevant personnel on concurrent duties.
“Establishment of special courts for expedited trial of rape and violence cases and strengthening reporting systems and publicising the channels of reporting.”
She noted that community had roles to play in ensuring victims, who come forward are not stigmatised and silenced.
According to her, communities need sensitisation through dialogue and strategic persuasive communication, establishment of schools or avenues for extensive training on balanced parenting and increased advocacy with community leaders and traditional institution.
Okah-Donli called for capacity building for caregivers and psychological support providers and canvassed for the increased use of the Sex Offenders Register to name and shame predators as well as the inclusion of rape and violence issues prevention in school curriculum.
She called on parents to remain alert and redirect stigma to “perpetrators rather than victims” of rape.