The WARAKA Sexual Assault Referral Center (SARC) in Kano has called on the state government to establish special courts to handle Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases for quick dispensation of justice as delay of court verdict gives room for options.
The call was made by the Chairman, SARC Steering Committee, Barr Sunusi Aliyu Yakasai through Barr Huwaila Ibrahim Muhammad during a press conference to commemorate the 16 days of activism for the Elimination of Gender Violence, Thursday, at the conference hall of the Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kano.
Annually the global community set aside the 25th November, as the international day for the Elimination of Gender Violence against women and girls, till the 10th December of every year, as Human Rights Day.
The 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign is considered as the time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
Speaking to newsmen, Barr Sunusi Aliyu Yakasai who was represented by Barr Huwaila Muhammad said with the growing population which has made Kano cosmopolitan, thereby increasing the tendencies of exposing the most vulnerable members of the society comprising of women and girls at risk of being abused.
“For instance, Dala which is the most populous local government area (LGA) in the state has recorded high rate of incidences in recent times. This is followed closely by Kumbotso, Nassarawa, Taurani, and other metropolitan LGAs.
“Yet for far too long, impunity, silence, stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions,” he stated.
He however, commended the efforts of the media and citizen groups for giving voice to victims and survivors to break the culture of silence.
Barr Yakasai said in recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #BalanceTonPorc and others, have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced any more, adding that the campaigns, advocacies and theme for this year is: “Orange the World” – End Violence Against Women and Girls Now!
“WARAKA-SARC in partnership with Associated Legal Aid Service Providers supported by the Rule of Law AND Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Program has planned activities to mark this year’s 16 days of activism.
“It includes public sensitizations, media engagement programs like live radio and television phone-in programs with experts to interact with stakeholders and the public on how they can assess GBV support services as well as inform them on the processes to prevent the occurrence of GBV incidences in at least 3 media stations.
“Town hall meetings and some schools where GBV clubs where established will be visited.
“Student’s sensitization activities will be conducted on the overview of GBV, how to get support on any GBV incidence while encouraging citizens to continue to good ambassadors of their states and communities,” he explained.
Barr Yakasai appreciated RoLAC and UNICEF for their support and commitment to the development of Kano state, communities and the SARC Center which has been providing support to many survivors of SGBV to ensure a society free from all forms of GBV.
He urged Kano indigenes to support WARAKA-SARC to continue with the good work it has been doing as “the business of protection of women and children is everyone’s business.”
WARAKA-SARC was established by the Kano State Justice Reform Team with technical assistance from Justice for All (J4A), a DFID funded intervention in 2016.
Like many other states of the federation, Kano state has experienced an alarming rate of rape and sexual assault cases in recent past.
Since inception, it has recorded well over 4,000 and still counting cases of GBV of mostly young children below the age of 13 years.
Kano state has contributed to the effective management of the SGBV cases and prosecution of preparators.
The staff of the center have enjoyed several trainings and are well equipped to provide quality services, create awareness on SGBV, management of cases and prosecution of preparators.