A Child Protection Specialist, Mr Olakunle Sanni, on Friday urged the three tiers of government to improve policy on child rape and provide special education centres for rape victims.
Sanni, who works with the Child Protection Network in Ogun, said that provision of education centres would empower any rape victims to break the culture of silence.
According to him, children, parents, governments, non-governmental organisations and individuals have a lot of responsibility to keep and protect girl-child from any form of rape.
“Empowering and educating children and other victims of sexual abuse, will help in breaking the silence culture in rape cases in Nigeria.
“We should establish more programmes for rape victims whereby they can confidently report rape cases without any fear and stigmatisation.
“We discovered that most rape victims are always ready to talk and report such cases, but our communities sometimes do not accept them.
“We have treated a lot of cases, and we noticed that most children who are raped do not understand victimisation at their levels.
“Most of these children are ready to shame and identify the predators, so supporting and listening to children will break a lot of silence culture,” he said.
Sanni advised parents and security agencies not to sideline any rape information given to them.
He urged them to be vigilant and cooperate with their children.
“Child protection specialists or activists always work with any information given them by parents or children.
“People should know that anybody can be a victim of rape, that is why we should protect every child from predators.
“Everybody should take up the fight of rape cases, even within our religion environments,” Sanni said.
Also, Pastor Febisan Dipo-Alaka of Star Assembly, Lekki, Lagos said that governments should put in place more strict laws on rape issues.
Dipo-Alaka said that all predators must not go unpunished because rape cases in Nigeria were becoming alarming.
“Most of the silent rape cases are caused burning threat and fear from the predators.
“The main reason parents and guardians should be very close to their children, so that children can open up when they are victimised.
“Recently, a university lecturer was sent to jail due to sex for marks; I know that will be a great lesson for other predators.
“In my church, we always lecture children on rape and that they must say no and push pack any predator.
“I encouraged all parents and religion leaders to always report any case of rape to the security agencies, even within the church.
“There must not be silence culture within the church on rape cases,” she said. (NAN)