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Vivour-Adeniyi: IDPs who suffer sexual abuse are at risk of mental health issues

Vivour-Adeniyi: IDPs who suffer sexual abuse are at risk of mental health issues
June 27
12:03 2022

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) says internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have experienced sexual abuse need psychosocial management to prevent mental health problems.

Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, executive secretary of the agency, said it is important for IDPs to undergo proper counselling to tackle the post-traumatic stress of being homeless.

She said IDPs and people living below the poverty line are at a high risk of sexual violence due to their financial challenges.

“Internally displaced persons are obviously at a very high risk of experiencing sexual violence. It is important that holistic care and management of IDPs, especially IDPs who receive and suffer sexual violence, is established,” she told TheCable on Monday.

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“I am aware of the efforts by the federal ministry of humanitarian affairs in ensuring that holistic care and support are made available to IDPs. I am also aware of interventions by other federal ministries and other donors, particularly UNFPA, ensuring that systems and structures are put in place in the camps to facilitate the provision of psychosocial support.

“This is very critical in ensuring that they move past the hurt and ensure that traumatic experiences don’t linger on as the survival tries to walk out from the horrific experience.

“It is important that we ensure that holistic management is made available to IDPs who experience sexual abuse aside from the fact that all IDPs need to receive counselling because of the post-traumatic stress and disorders of being homeless.

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“People who have been internally displaced and have experienced sexual abuse need to receive holistic management lest they degenerate into a mental health problem.”

She added that lack of access to medical services, psychosocial support and lack of information on measures to take immediately after sexual violence occurs are some of the challenges faced by victims across the country.

“It is important that they have access to medical attention and counselling provided by a professional psychologist, clinical psychologist to take them through therapy. Rape and domestic violence are traumatic events. it is important that they can access help and access it timely,” she said.

“There is a need to look at this from in multidisciplinary lens and appreciate that survivors require a myriad of services and there is no one agency, no one office that can appropriately provide all the services.”

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Vivour-Adeniyi urged the public to stop blaming and shaming rape and domestic violence survivors to avoid slow recovery from traumatic effects.

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