Grace Ike Wants Government  Funded Compensation Scheme for SGBV Victims

Grace Ike Wants Government Funded Compensation Scheme for SGBV Victims

…Commends “Tears from the Grave’ Publication by Foundation

AS emotional and psychological trauma and mental health continue to deteriorate among assaulted Nigerians, the Chairperson, House of Representatives Press Corps, Comrade Grace Ike, Wednesday, advocated for government funded compensation scheme for victims of rape and violent crimes. 

Ike made the call in her remarks during the launch of ‘Tears from the Grave’, a publication by Mr Lemmy Ughegbe of the Men Against Rape Foundation, MARF, dedicated to the memory of victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, SGBV, in Abuja, which she described the absence of fund for compensation to also help victims restart their lives as a critical gap that demands urgent attention.

Also as the Vice Chairman, Correspondents Chapel, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja,  she also commended the Foundation and organizers of the launch, which indicates their patriotism and commitment to shedding light on the harrowing experiences of SGBV victims with ‘Tears from the Grave’ that demonstrates the collective resolve of Nigerians to confront and eradicate the pervasive issue.

She said: “The statistics are alarming—a recent survey in Nigeria revealed that 31.4 per cent of sexually active adolescent females and 5.7% of males experienced forced sex (rape) at sexual initiation.

“Shockingly, female adolescents living with HIV are disproportionately affected by this violence.

“It is truly heartbreaking when individuals, regardless of age or gender, fall victim to such abhorrent acts. The normalization of sexual violence is spreading like wildfire, leaving victims in unimaginable physical and psychological anguish.

“Every day, we are confronted with distressing accounts of girls and women enduring unspeakable trauma due to sexual violence. What is even more disturbing is the growing trend of perpetrators committing murder, killing their victims after these heinous acts—an act that must be condemned in the strongest terms.

“SGBV knows no boundaries—it transcends age, ethnicity, color, socioeconomic status, and geography.

“While the list of victims in Nigeria is extensive, many cases remain unreported due to fear of stigma and inadequate support systems.

“Despite existing legislation imposing severe penalties for SGBV offenses, prosecution rates remain dismally low. Victims often shy away from reporting due to fear of stigma and the arduous legal process.

“I am particularly troubled by the absence of a government-funded compensation scheme for victims of sexual and violent crimes in Nigeria. This is a critical gap that demands urgent attention from our policymakers.”

While calling  on CSOs to ensure justice for SGBV victims, the VC also appealed to the National and State Assemblies for courts that will champion issues of sexual offences across the country.

She commended civil society organisations such as:  the Men Against Rape Foundation, saying  they have played a pivotal role in advocating for the rights of SGBV victims and ensuring they receive the justice and support they deserve.

She added:, Icall upon our lawmakers at the national and state levels to prioritize the establishment of Sexual Offenses Courts across the country, modeled after successful initiatives in Lagos and other regions.

“Once again, I want to express my deep appreciation to Mr. Lemmy Ugegbe and the dedicated team at the Men Against Rape Foundation for not just coming up with this initiative but for your relentless pursuit of justice.

“I have followed your trajectory, especially on the case of Karen, a teenage-victim who also lost her life as a result of rape and many other cases. You people are doing an extremely difficult job but I pray that God will continue to give you the courage, strength, financial enablement and the grace to accomplish this onerous task.

 “Together, let us stand united against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. We must continue to strive for a society where every individual lives free from the fear of violence and injustice”, she added.

Photos from the Unveiling of the book “Tears From The Grave”

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