16 days activism: NGO launches justice guide for SGBV survivors

Invictus Africa, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has produced a directory called “The Survivor’s Guide” to assist survivors of rape and other forms of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) to access justice and information.

Its executive director Ms Bukky Shonibare, during the launching ceremony in Abuja said that the practical guide is a resource for survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence.

According to her, “the guide provides information on what to do if a person is raped, what not to do, how to get help, where to get help, and working through the trauma years later.

“The fourth part talks about what to do and not to do when you are sexually abused. Some when they are sexually abuse, they immediately rush to go and wash off. But that washing takes away evidence.

“So how do people know that they are not supposed to wash immediately?; so the part on know what to do and not do to people when they are sexually abuse.

“ And, the final part talks about where and how to get help, where can you go to get help.

“ And, with that we align that with our Orange Pages, which contains over 200 contacts of organisations in Nigeria, who are responding and providing services to survivors of SGBV,” she explained.

She disclosed that the guide will be made accessible in various local languages or other means of communication to people both in the city and rural areas to assist them when needed.

“We want to make this survivor’s guide reachable to the different segments of the society such as persons living with disabilities, persons who are hard on hearing, persons who cannot see.

In his remarks, Country Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, called on the government at all levels to fully implement the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Acts, to reduce the prevalence of SGBV.

Ojigho also called for psycho-social supports to survivors to reduce the trauma caused by the abuse, just as he advocated increased access to free medical examination, use of appropriate language and actions while investigating such cases.

On her part, Ms Aderonke Bello, Executive Director, FAME Foundation, said the survivor’s guide would sensitise the public on appropriate actions, when violated and how to seek medical aid and justice to ensure punishment for perpetrators.