Law Officers in Lagos State have received training on response management to gender issues in the state.
The gender-sensitization training was conducted by the team of experts from Women at Risk Foundation (WARIF) as part of its concerns to management skills needed by first Responders, the Nigeria Police, on gender issues.
The USAID funded programme saw WARIF brought 40 Police officers from six districts of Alakara, Ketu, Ajah, Adeniji, Ilupeju and Alakuko all in Lagos to improve their knowledge on gender issues around rape, domestic and physical violence as well sexual assault and on various techniques to identify, manage and refer potential cases to the WARIF Centre.
The event provided veritable platform to educate the Law Officers on gender-based services available at WARIF which include: medical consultations, treatment and screening for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), counselling and social welfare intervention.
Speaking at the event, Founder WARIF, Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru noted that it is imperative that the officers improve on their skills to detect when rape offences occur and what is expected of them to do as first responders in referring survivors to the right centre.
“Based on our current statistics and confirmed by the organisation, approximately 10,000 girls are sexually assaulted or raped every day in Nigeria. I
“n addition to hospitals and primary healthcare centres, Police stations are usually the first point of contact for many of the survivors of rape and sexual violence in our communities” said Dr. DaSilva-Ibru.
She added: “This is why we have taken this critical step to ensure that Law Enforcement are sensitized to these cases and are trained on the appropriate responses, documentation and referral of these cases to centres such as the WARIF Centre.
“We also want to encourage survivors of rape and sexual violence to speak up and reach out to law enforcement agents when these situations occur, being assured that these cases will be handled in an appropriate manner”, she added.
The Founder pointed out that the overall objectives of the USAID grant awarded to WARIF are to promote improved medical services for rape and assault victims, psychosocial counselling, and training of secondary school girls on sexual assault through the WARIF Educational School Programme.
Women at Risk International Foundation, (WARIF), a non-profit organization was established to raise awareness and address the prevalence of rape, sexual violence and trafficking of young girls and women in communities across the country.
The foundation also seeks to re-dress the adverse effects seen because of Gender-Based Violence.