The Sexual Offences Awareness and Response Initiative (SOAR) has disclosed that Benue State ranks very high in sexual violence against girls.
The Executive Director of SOAR, Chinyere Eyoh, who made the disclosure at a one-day consultative forum with stakeholders in Benue, stressed the need to end sexual-based violence against girls.
She noted that from available statistics, Benue seemed to be the highest in sexual violence which was why SOAR was in the state to work with stakeholders to curb the trend.
She expressed worry that even with the high rate of sexual violence in the state, victims did not get justice against their perpetrators.
She said, “Some communities don’t see sexual violence as a crime; families instead come together to settle among themselves and the perpetrator goes free without prosecution.
“SOAR is meant to give voice to those girls that can’t speak out when they are violated. The girls should have the right to stand up for themselves and speak out.”
On his part, Gwabo Godwin, who represented Dr Emmanuel Shior, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), thanked SOAR for bringing such an initiative to the state, even as he lamented the situation of sexual violence in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.