Rape victim asks others to take action against gender-based violence
By Bridget Ikyado
Victims of rape and other forms of gender-based violence have been asked to report to the relevant authorities to get help and justice.
Ms Elizabeth Bumkeng, a victim of rape and author, made the call at her book launch in Abuja.
The book is titled: “Healing from Within… Reclaiming Life After Sexual and Gender – Based Violence”.
Bumkeng said that not reporting the matter and seeking appropriate help could lead to depression and further complications.
She said that after she was abused, she was traumatised, scared and would always have nightmares and a feeling the culprit will walk away and do same to other girls.
According to her, part of her healing process was reporting the person who abused her; which she described as a step forward towards healing for her.
Bumkeng called on all stakeholders to join in the fight against gender-based violence in the society.
“This is a clarion call for everybody, the civil societies, the community leaders, the village chiefs, the government, the lawmakers, everyone in office in whatever capacity that you are.
“This is a sole responsibility for you and I as a person to fight against sexual and gender-based violence.
“This is not a fight for me alone; as Elizabeth I have started my fight, I have written a book and this book covers ways to help survivors.
“The next step for every one of us here is to spread the news and to help join the fight. This means if you hear someone doing this, you have the right to stop any one.
“Do not say it does not concern me. It concerns each and every one of us,” she said.
She explained that the book talks about how to get healing, the relevant government agencies and their roles, the law and stipulated punishments for offenders.
“So this book is informative and I recommend it for every child, every family, every community, every government agencies, I recommend it to everyone because you need to know about the do’s and don’ts about the laws, the persecution and everything,” she said.
The chief launcher of the book, Mr Nuhu Kwajafa, said the most effective way of helping victims is by punishing the offenders.
He said that the first step is to make the police see the need to take sexual harassment very seriously.
According to him, the police take armed robbery more seriously than rape; whereas in the western world a first time robber without criminal record can be pardoned but nothing of such for a rapist.
“I have dealt with so many cases of rape where the police will tell you openly that your family should go and settle the matter at home.
“So the only way government can support the victim is that government needs to put things in place that will tackle those who are involved in
“This is because there’s no way somebody can heal when the person who committed the crime is walking free.
“Everyone has to support and play their own role. I mean, everyone has a responsibility.
“The media needs to shout it out, the media needs to call the authorities out, the media needs to bring it out that 80 per cent of sexual harassment cases are being killed by the police,” he said. (NAN)