The Senate has condemned the increase in rape and domestic violence cases in the country.
This is following the motion made by the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah titled: Urgent need to investigate the alarming rate of rape and sexual assault against women, children and vulnerable people across the country.
He said “The Senate notes the frightening increase in cases of sexual violence, notably rape, where more than half of the victims are minors, children below the age of consent.
“The Senate further notes that in most of these cases, the perpetrators are usually familiar neighbours, employers of labour and close family members; and it is concerned that the activities of these sexual predators constitute a serious security threat to the larger segment of our society and are severely underreported.”
Adding that “The Senate is disturbed that on a nearly daily basis, our newspapers are awash with reports of rape and other sexual violence. It observes that these acts portray the country in a bad light and are alien to both our cultural and religious orientation as a people.”
Giving his support to the motion, Sen. Ben Bruce said most rape cases are not reported.
He said “A few years ago, we heard of a report from Lagos State which basically said rape was the number one crime in Lagos; not armed robbery or assassination. Boko Haram is occupying too much space in the media, yet it is not the number one crime. The number one crime in Nigeria today is rape.”
The Senators also called on the law courts to enforce penalties on sexual offenders to deter others.
According to Punch, the Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Abiodun Olujimi also said “More than anything else, there is a mental situation attached to anyone that rapes a woman, a child or anybody. The issue of paedophiles now abounds in Nigeria; people who are raping underage children and it affects all us because anyone raped gets disoriented. They lose it all, and that is not fair.
“Somehow, the people who are supposed to enforce our laws on rape are complicit in this matter. If not, where have they been when all these are happening in the ‘Centre of Excellence’, Lagos; Abuja, Kaduna and Kano. People are being raped on a daily basis and people are turning their eyes away from these heinous crimes.”
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu also called on rape victims to take the bold step and report to the relevant government agencies.
Ekweremadu also said most rape victims in Nigeria choose to keep quiet about the incident and not report their offenders.