Amnesty International says the failure of the federal government to tackle rape and other gender-based violence is worsening the crisis and emboldening perpetrators in the country.
This is contained in a report released yesterday titled, “Nigeria: A Harrowing Journey; Access to Justice for Women and Girls Survivors of Rape.”
The AI said the government’s failure to act effectively also silenced survivors.
The report, based on research carried out between March 2020 and August 2021, covers appalling cases of sexual violence against women and girls, including a six-year-old and an 11-year-old who were attacked so viciously.
“Despite the Nigerian authorities’ declaration of a “state of emergency” on sexual and gender-based violence, rape persists at crisis levels with most survivors denied justice, rapists avoiding prosecution, and hundreds of cases of rape going unreported due to pervasive corruption, stigma and victim blaming.
“Concrete actions have not been taken to tackle the rape crisis in Nigeria with the seriousness it deserves. Women and girls continue to be failed by a system that makes it increasingly difficult for survivors to get justice, while allowing perpetrators to get away with gross human rights violations,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.
She said the fear of not being believed, or even being blamed for being raped, was creating a dangerous culture of silence that prevented survivors from seeking justice.