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COVID-19: WARIF records 64 per cent increase in sexual abuse

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Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) says it has observed 64 per cent increase in call cases on sexual abuses which has prompted the reopening of its center to cater to survivors of sexual violence.

Dr Kemi Da-Silvia Ibru, the founder WARIF, said the decision was made after the NGO observed an upward progression in call cases during the 14-day lockdown mandated by the Federal Government to help curb the spread of Coronavirus.

Ibru said in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday that adequate safety measures were in place to prevent cross-contamination between survivors upon visit to the centre.

She added that the NGO had provided personal protective equipments to ensure the safety of its frontline workers.

“During this period of lockdown, we have observed that the number of calls received through our 24-hours confidential helpline to report cases of sexual abuse had increased by 64 per cent compared to the time before the lockdown.

“This is worrisome for us because sexual abuse thrives on secrecy.

“The larger community needs to be aware that although we are all limiting our interactions with friends, families and neighbours, we have to be mindful that sexual abuse is happening and in fact, the rate is becoming alarming.

“We are also calling on individuals and corporates to assist in our fund raising campaign to provide more PPE kits for our workers who are at the WARIF Centre as first responders to walk in cases of rape and sexual abuse during these trying times”, she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WARIF, an organisation focused on reducing the prevalence of gender-based violence in Nigeria,  is working closely with the Lagos State Police to ensure that survivors of gender-based violence are protected and given adequate attention during the COVID-19 period. (NAN)

Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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