Thursday, October 3, 2019 4:07 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Before now, the increasing defilements of girls, some as young as few months old has been the main source of worry to the Rivers State chapter of International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA.
But now, the group has raised alarm the number of male children being subjected to violence and sexual abuse from adults is also on the rise in the oil city.
Rivers State Chairperson of FIDA, Ngozi Odunkwe Ehosevbe, revealed this new concern at the new monthly sensitization meeting on rape awareness at Rumuokwrushi community in Obio-Akpor local government while calling on women, parents and guardians to be more vigilant.
The FIDA Chairperson also advised parents to ensure that they also give their male children sex education like the girls.
She said, ‘’the number of reported cases of sexual abuses on male children is on the increase. Therefore, it has become paramount that women are sensitized in terms of the provisions of Violence Against Person’s Bill, VAPB, which is currently before the state hopes of Assembly so that they know what the content of this bills are.’
‘’Having interacted with the women, we have deduced that their hearts are crying out particularly in the area of rape. The women are not happy how their little children are being defiled, how the young ones are being raped and one thing that we didn’t address our minds to is that it’s not just the girl child alone that is raped, but that the boy child is also being raped and abused.
‘’We have quite a number of matters before us where you find that some of these boys have been abused sexually and otherwise, so having interacted with them, they have given their word that they are going to speak out,” she said.
The FIDA Chairperson also encouraged the women to speak out when their wards are abused, while urging them not to be discouraged by the sometimes lackadaisical attitude of the Police to reports of rape.
She assured the women that if they can only speak out, the offenders will be dealt with within the purview of the laws.
Some of the community women from Rumuokwrushi commended, FIDA for efforts in ensuring that cases of rape get attention in the state while urging them to do more.
One of the women identified simply as Mrs. Amadi, said they are not happy that men were destroying the boys through sexual abuse at the early stages of their lives.
Grace Uke, another of the community leader said:” Government should try and help our children because most of our children are being abused and as a mother, I don’t like it, government should tighten their own end and we would also tighten our own loose side.
On her part, a mother, Madam Joy Chindah, said she would support women to seek redress in court in any other rape case brought out within the community and would help the victim seek redress in court.
Some of the women regretted that they are not happy with the way the Divisional Police Officers treat rape cases when reported to them.
It will be recalled that some civil society organization, students and other professional bodies staged a road procession in Port Harcourt in June this year in protest over alarming increase in cases of child sexual abuse and rape in Rivers State.
Community Health Educator for Doctors Without Borders at Orogbum Health Centre in Port Harcourt, Veronica Uweh, revealed that out of 120 cases of rape reported at the centre every month average 70-80% of the victims were below 15 years.