By The World Satellite.
Against the backdrop of the recent escalation of rape cases across the country, which has viciously and unfortunately led to the untimely death of some victims like late Uwa, Barakat, while others are left with the psychological scars and trauma for life; Queen Mimidoo Uhundu has unveiled plans of setting up a support group and rehabilitation scheme for victims
Queen Mimidoo; the current Face of Middle-Belt, Nigeria made this known in an exclusive media chat with The World Satellite on the sidelines of her birthday, over the weekend observed that rape cases are not reported because of stigmatization of the victims, which makes the cases rise.
“I am in the process of setting up a support group and rehabilitation scheme for victims and the details will be made available soon. I also have arrangements with rights-based organizations for follow-ups on cases reported. One of such organisations is Lawyers Alert and bystanders are also encouraged to report cases, because often times the victims are scared of speaking out.
“I can assure you that tips will be followed up and sources will be confidential. I encourage survivors and persons who have a history or experience in handling this to stand up for the sake of ensuring the safety of our young girls and this appeal cuts across all gender”, Queen Uhundu revealed.
Again, while expressing pains that due to stigmatization, rape predators still roam freely, the benue-born beauty queen who is so passionate about the vulnerable in the society with emphasis on women and children called on the police authority to train its officers and men on how to proactively handle rape cases so as to avoid tempering with associated evidence and pressures on the victims by their family members to withdraw the case.
Continuing, she stated that nothing exposes the backwardness of a country more than this prevalent rape culture backed up by religious and cultural sentiments. According to her, this cultural and religious context is the underlying reason behind the societal pressure to remain silent and the strong element of shame around rape and rape survivors.
“Rape survivors are faced with long-suppressed feeling of shame, anger and rage. The public acknowledgement of the fact that there is a massive rape problem in Nigeria is the first step towards building a responsible society that protects women.
It saddens my heart that in this period of Covid-19 pandemic, rape cases are leading the polls. Women now live in fear of rape more than the corona virus. Many have expressd their views on this context and even make excuses for these perpetrators but let me put it straight that there is no excuse for rape. Women don’t get raped because they went drinking/partying or they dress indecent or take lonely paths, women get raped because someone raped them”, she emphasized.
In conclusion, she called on The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to be more proactive in its mode of operation instead of been reactive. More so, she joined her voice in demanding immediate justice for Uwa, Barakat and all rape victims, while adding that all hands must be on deck to destroy rape before rape destroys Nigeria and cause our dear country an international condemnation.