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EU donates PPEs, sanitisers to sexual assault referral centres in 11 states

EU donates PPEs, sanitisers to sexual assault referral centres in 11 states
May 22
16:47 2020

The European Union’s Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme has donated personal protective equipment (PPEs) to staff of Sexual Assault Referral Centers (SARCs) in 11 states.

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The SARCs that benefited from the intervention are in Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Niger, Sokoto and Yobe.

There are reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled sexual and gender-based violence against girls and women.

In a statement on Friday, Danladi Plang, national programme manager, ROLAC, said apart from the PPEs, hand gloves, hand sanitisers, surgical face masks, disinfectants and disposal aprons, among other things were also distributed.

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“The support also covers provision of telephone airtime to enable the SARCs offer telephone counselling and follow up with victims of sexual assault. The aim of the intervention, according to RoLAC, is to ensure sustained service delivery to victims of sexual assault during the COVID-19 breakout,” Plang said.

“The current prevalence of COVID-19 has led to increase in cases of sexual and domestic violence and service providers such as Sexual Assault Referral Centers (SARCs), established by British Council with support from the European Union to provide support services including medical assistance, counselling and initial legal assistance to victims of sexual assault are now struggling to continue providing these services to victims and survivors due to COVID-19 related challenges such as insufficient or lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) like hand sanitizers, face masks, hand gloves, and the restriction of movement among others are likely to affect the operations of these service providers.

“For instance, the lockdown order in many states in Nigeria, which restricts movements and enforces sit-at-home, has meant that victims have been locked up with abusive partners.

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“The increase in sexual and domestic violence is almost inevitable. The restriction has also meant that women and girls who are victims in this situation are limited from having access to support services.

“RoLAC is therefore implementing this intervention so that victims of sexual assault will continue to have access to the services of SARCs and other support services during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

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