Pauline Tallen, Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs, has attributed the spike in the number of rape cases to the lockdown.
Tallen said this to state house correspondents on Wednesday, June 10 after the Federal Executive Council meeting where she brought up the rape pandemic in the country.
She disclosed that an action plan which would involve the judiciary and the media, is being put in place to tackle the rape menace.
“THERE HAS BEEN AN OUTCRY AGAINST RAPE EPIDEMIC BECAUSE OF THE LOCKDOWN. I KNOW WE HAVE ALWAYS HAD RAPE IN THIS COUNTRY BUT WITH THE LOCKDOWN OF PEOPLE IN HOMES BECAUSE OF COVID-19, WOMEN AND CHILDREN ARE LOCKED DOWN WITH THEIR ABUSERS. THE NUMBER HAS ESCALATED THREE TIMES OF WHAT WE HAD SEEN. THERE IS NO STATE WITH AN EXCEPTION. THE NUMBER HAS REACHED ALARMING RATE.
WE ARE CALLING FOR LEGAL INTERVENTION. FROM DETAILS THAT WE HAVE, THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF CASES THAT ARE WITHIN OUR COURTS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN ADDRESSED AND OUT OF EACH ONE CASE, BE SURE THAT THERE ARE 10 THAT HAVE NOT BEEN REPORTED.
BECAUSE OF THIS, WE CALL FOR MEDIA CAMPAIGN AND AGGRESSIVE PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT. WE WANT PEOPLE TO RISE AND SPEAK UP AGAINST ABUSE OF MINORS AND RAPE CASES. WE ALSO CALL FOR INTERVENTION OF THE JUDICIARY FOR PROMPT DISPENSATION OF JUSTICE AND POLICE TO ENSURE THAT RAPE CASES ARE NOT TREATED WITH LEVITY OR WISHED AWAY WHEN REPORTED.
THESE WERE THE ISSUES BROUGHT BEFORE COUNCIL, AND I AM GLAD TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE GOT A FULL SUPPORT OF MR. PRESIDENT AND ALL MEMBERS OF COUNCIL THAT GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE DECISIVE ACTION AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL TO PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THIS COUNTRY” SHE SAID