Sexual violence is any act committed against someone’s sexual integrity without the person’s freely given consent. It transcends the violation of one’s body physically. Increasingly, sexual violence has been a major problem in every part of the world; statistics show that over 150 million girls worldwide are raped in a year. With the advent of the covid-19 pandemic, sexual violence has become an epidemic.
In 2021, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Agency recorded a total of 3943 reported cases of adult and children abuse. 2721 were adults, of which 94% were females and 6% were male. 1222 were children, 58.5% of the reported figure were girls, while 415% were boys. The recent death of Aisha, a female Internally Displaced Person (IDP) in Borno State, Nigeria, has once again proven the adverse effects of sexual violation on its victims.
We all have a role to play in eliminating sexual violence and indeed all forms of violence against women and girls in Nigeria. We must be active bystanders and put an end to rape culture. We should not act oblivious of this, or wait for another report on the news before doing what is right.
Over the years, Vision Spring Initiatives has shown zero tolerance to all forms of violence against women, girls, and vulnerable people in Nigeria. Our policy brief titled Sexual Violence: an epidemic in a pandemic published in 2020 highlights urgent actions to be taken by state and non-state actors on sexual violence. Our goal is to ensure recommendations addressed in the policy brief are fully implemented by 2024!.