The Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), a non-profit organization, has reiterated its commitment to providing support for survivors of rape and sexual violence in Nigeria.
The commitment was made at a recent media dialogue on gender-responsive reporting and advocacy held at WARIF’s office in Lagos.
Speaking at the event, DaSilva Ibru, founder of WARIF, said, “The issue of rape and other forms of gender-based violence in our society is severely underreported. We live in a patriarchal society that allows rape culture to thrive on a daily basis, with the few survivors who are bold enough to speak up often blamed and shamed for these crimes committed against them.
“Therefore, we need a collective effort to successfully tackle this issue. With the cooperation of journalists and media professionals, survivors will be encouraged to speak up and utilise their platforms to report these cases accurately.
“By doing so, we can create an enabling environment that empowers other survivors out there to find their voices and speak out without fear’’.
Anie Makanjuola, WARIF clinical lead and forensic medical expert, who also spoke at the event, gave details on the clinical pathways and free comprehensive services offered to survivors at the centre.
Makanjuola highlighted the diverse range of services and support provided from forensic medical examinations, medical treatment, and testing, and use of prophylactic drugs, as well as individual and group counselling sessions to address psychosocial needs and social welfare such as shelters and legal aid.
It is interesting to note that WARIF as a non-profit organisation focused on raising awareness and addressing the prevalence of rape, sexual violence, and trafficking of young girls and women in communities across Nigeria.
WARIF also aimed to intervene and treat affected women while implementing preventive measures to reduce the incidence of gender-based violence and alleviate its adverse effects.