The Yola Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) popularly known as “Hope Centre” has attended to 224 rape survivors since its establishment in March 2018 to date.
The Manager of the Centre, Dr Usha Saxena, made this known in Yola
Saxena said that the Centre established and equipped with the support of British Council under its Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) programme has been providing free treatment, counseling and legal services among others to survivors of Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the state.
Saxena however lamented that out of the 224 cases recorded by the centre only 11 were undergoing prosecution and that so far there was no conviction.
“Thats why we need a bigger centre or more offices so that we can have desk officers from the police and lawyers in the Centre to facilitate prosecution of suspects,” Saxena said.
While lauding British Council and Pathfinder for their support in providing facilities to the centre, Saxena said that the EU-Spotlight Initiative, a global partnership between United Nations and European Union to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls has also shown interest to support the centre.
“The Spotlight Initiative had already conducted forensic training for doctors and nurses of the centre.
“Also trained by Spotlight are counsellors of the centre,” Saxena said.
She also explained that spotlight would also rehabilitate a hostel provided by Adamawa Ministry of Women Affairs to serve as “Safe Space” for survivors of rape who have no where to go or needed to stay briefly to complete their treatment.
Saxena lauded the recent launched of National Sexual Offenders Register (SOR) for the compilation of data of those convicted for sexual violence pointing out that the development would contribute positively in addressing sexual violence.
She urged Adamawa to queue into it so as to give the fight against sexual violence more bite in the state.
The manager also endorsed the clamour for a special court for sexual offender in the state to facilitate justice.