Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

From TCNEWS

The Abia State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Ngozi Blessing Felix has disclosed plans for the establishment of the first Sexual Assault Referral Centre, SARC in the State.

Interacting with a cross section of journalists  shortly after the maiden meeting of Abia State Gender-Based Violence, GBV Response Team/Technical Working Group held in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Umuahia, Mrs Felix said the Ministry with the support from key stakeholders is working assiduously to realize that before the year 2024 runs out.

She said that the sexual assault referral centre, which will be located in a government functioning hospital would provide crucial services for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

 “The facility will be where rape and sexual assault survivors can access free forensic medical and psychosocial services. Apart from the medical professionals who will do the medical examinations, to get the evidence of sexual assault and also provide medical support and treatment, the social workers, mostly counsellors would also be there to provide emotional support”.

The Commissioner said that the maiden meeting of Abia State Gender-Based Violence, GBV Response Team/Technical Working Group, which was inaugurated on the 7th day of December, 2023 within the period of the 16 Days of Activism, offered the committee the avenue to review circumstances, situations and occurrences around the GBV space within the 17 L.G.A, of the state.

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She said that one of the main responsibilities of the response team was to coordinate and strengthen gender based violence prevention and provide a quick response to incidences in the state.

Other functions of the team according to the Commissioner include: facilitating a multi sectoral action towards prevention of GBV; ensuring a principled approach to the provision of accessible, prompt, confidential and appropriate services to survivors of GBV; ensuring the implementation of all enabling laws on GBV – The Abia State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAAP) Law 2019, the Child Rights Act and Persons With Disability, PWDS Act; and ensuring prompt dispensation of justice to GBV offenders.

“The committee is also looking to ensure that we enhance the right and promote the protection of women and children and PWDs. We want to ensure that the perpetrators of violent crimes against women, men, children and Persons With Disabilities are brought to book”, Mrs Ngozi Blessing Felix also said.

Members of the team received a copy of the Abia State Violence Against Persons Prohibition, VAAP Law, 2019 during the meeting.

By NWAMARA

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