Preserve evidence to prosecute rapists – FIDA task parents
Story from Beatrice EARLAND, Bauchi
Parents and relatives of rape victims have been called upon not to destroy evidence by rushing to clean up the victims for proper prosecution of culprits.
The call was made by Hauwa Ahmed Abubakar, Secretary, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Bauchi, at a media round table discussion hosted by Nigeria Association Of Women Journalists, NAWOJ in collaboration with PLAN international at the NUJ Secretariat.
She said most rape don’t see the light of day because the evidence was destroyed before it was reported. She explained that before cleaning victim, they should be taken to the hospital and the police station for evidence preservation before she should be cleaned.
Abubakar stated further that the VAPP Law which protects victims against gender based violence has not taken effect yet in Bauchi state but section 29 of the penal code is still in operation in convicting culprits.
“Without evidence they cannot do much. The onus is now on all of us especially the media to make the society aware of the need for evidence preservation. What is important especially in rape cases is that, once it happens, there is need not to wash the victim which is very hard. When a girl is raped, the first thing is to tidy her up and in doing so you find the evidences washed away”.
In her remarks, gender specialist, Helen John lamented that one in three women experience gender based violence globally, while in Bauchi state 22% of women experience gender based violence according to statistics. She said both men and women have experienced one form of violence or the other and called for more sensitisation.