Bauchi: Family, perpetrators of unreported rape to get same punishment
Bauchi State Government in its law on Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) under amendment process will punish the families and relatives of victims of rape who failed to report to the authorities, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has said.
FIDA Chairperson in Bauchi on Friday said this during the 16-day activism against gender-based violence, organised by the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and Plan International.
FIDA expressed dissatisfaction over the growing number of unreported cases of rape and other forms of violence against women.
Representative of the Women Lawyers, Hauwa Ahmed Abubakar, said the State Assembly has promised to pass the VAPP amended bill into law this year.
She said: “The law also provided punishment for the relatives of rape survivors who try to conceal the case the way the perpetrators will be punished.
“We have seen so many cases where the families of the survivors and the perpetrators agreed to settle out-of-court. It can’t happen again. The case is now a state case,” she said.
According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), there were over 800 cases of human rights abuse between January and November 2021 in Bauchi State. 401 cases were raped.
Also, a gender expert, Helen John who delivered a speech at the event said that a report by the Public Health Survey in 2018, showed that 21 percent of women in the state had experienced violence in their lives.
Helen said that rape is not the only monster tormenting women, adding that there is economic, physical, emotional/psychological gender-based violence –apart from sexual assault.
“Some of the impacts of GBV are health, preterm labour, depression and suicide.
By now, we should be talking about a center/shelter for gender-based violence in Bauchi. This includes a special treatment and a psycho-social clinic for survivors,” she added.