Kaduna State recorded 748 reported cases of emotional and psychosocial abuse and 349 cases of physical assault in 2023.
The Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Rabi Salisu, stated this at a second biannual shared learning event and dialogue session on public private partnership and private sector engagement on Tuesday in Kaduna.
Ms Salisu, represented by Hajiya Maryam Muazu, the Director, Youth Development Department of the ministry, said the data was a combination of males and females who were victims of sexual and gender-based violence from January to December 2023 in the state.
She added that the emotional and psychosocial abuses, which have a high rate, representing 37.7 per cent, were perpetrated within survivors’ family members or those close to them such as husbands, fathers and wives among others.
She, however, said that physical assaults, which were less, represented 17.6 per cent.
Ms Salisu explained that there were different types of SGBV, where people only know rape, adding that there was a high number of domestic violence, which is a type of emotional and psychosocial violence.
She, however, stated that the state recorded significant success in tackling the menace, which made the state currently positively reporting at a national dashboard.
“Kaduna State is now 5th in the national dash board in spite of joining it in March 2023. We met other states who joined three years ago and were even supported by partners to report data. We, however joining recently are now 5th among the 36 states and Abuja in terms of reporting SGBV data,” Ms Salisu said
The commissioner said that the state’s feat in reporting in the national dashboard meant that it had broken the culture of silence where people shy away from reporting cases.
She also said that the data helped the state in terms of service provision, which saw the provision of shelter homes, psychosocial support by providing medical services and justice for survivors.
The commissioner also disclosed that about 25 cases of SGBV had been prosecuted, a situation he described as a success story.
Speaking further, Ms Salisu said that the state had in the current administration, built a bigger shelter home which has multiple facilities including skills acquisition centre, children’s playing ground, clinic, among other facilities to keep survivors of SGBV calm.
She explained that the shelter homes for people in trauma and big situations are for those on transit pending when their minds are settled before going back to their various homes.
Ms Salsiu added that the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law in 2018 saw the establishment of Sexual Assault and Referral Centres in senatorial zones of the state as a testament of government’s commitment in tackling SGBV.
“We also have additional mini SARC in Rigasa, Igabi LGA which has a high prevalence of SGBV. The centre is coordinating the one-stop shop activities of providing security for investigating and arresting perpetrators and ensure that survivors access medical services to ensure collation of early evidence and quick medical attention given to them,” she said
Mr Salisu also mentioned the provision of legal services provided by the state Ministry of Justice, psychosocial support by the SARCs themselves to victims, among others as part of the government’s measure and commitment in tackling SGBV in the state.
She urged the public not to shy away from reporting SGBV cases no matter who is involved to get justice to deter others from perpetrating the acts.
Also, Sidikat Adegboye, SARC Manager of Yusuf Dan Tsoho Hospital, Tudun Wada, Sidikat Adegboye, said the centre recorded 880 reported cases of SGBV on females and 297 on males from March 2019 to December 2023.
She added that 1,091 cases on children and 97 on adults were reported within the same duration.
Ms Adegboye also said that 793 reported cases of defilement of children; 47 cases rape and 337 cases of psychological/emotional and physical violence.
Giving a presentation on the challenges impeding service delivery at SARC, she lamented the dearth of drugs and consumables used in providing medical services, which is in short supply to meet survivors’ needs.
Ms Salisu also decried the lack of IT specialists to analyse data professionally; lack of operational vehicles, training and retraining of staff on the job due to constant rotation of SARC staff.
Ms Adegboye also lamented compromise of cases by relatives and traditional leaders without regard to the traumatic experiences of survivors especially children and financial inducement of parents/guardians to influence parents/guardians to drop allegations of rape against perpetrators.
“There is also frustration by the judicial system leading to loss of sustained interest in prosecution, among others,” she lamented.
She, however, said in spite of the challenges, incomers in the centre have benefitted from medical, psychosocial counselling, social services or legal counselling according to their needs.
Earlier, Acting Executive Director, Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women, Hannatu Ahuwan, said the event was aimed to further
seek support for the SARCs from private sector organisations in Kaduna State.
According to her, the government is not able to meet all the needs in addressing SGBV, hence the need to engage private-sector residents within the state to support SARCs with what they need to provide adequate services to survivors of SGBV.
Mrs Ahuwan, therefore, said the overall objective was aimed at improving service delivery to survivors of SGBV.
LANW is an NGO that promotes social justice for marginalised and vulnerable groups through creation of legal awareness, protection of fundamental rights and facilitation of participatory
Lawyers Alert, a human rights organisation and LANW that organised the event, are members of the SGBV Justice Network Cluster under the USAID SCALE project.
They advocate the activation and implementation of VAPPL and ACJL in Bauchi, Benue, Enugu, Kaduna, Osun, and the FCT towards speedy justice service delivery and resolution of SGBV cases.