Fayemi signs law mandating emergency medical care for victims of sexual violence

KAYODE Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, has signed the Sexual Violence Against Children (Compulsory Treatment And Care) Bill into law, reinforcing his administration’s commitment to prompt medical care for child victims of sexual violence.

The law would also facilitate effective prosecution of sex offenders.

The governor stated that the new law aims to provide victims of sexual violence rapid access to medical facilities that can administer emergency medical care, including treatment to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases as well as counseling.

Fayemi while assenting the law, lauded the Ekiti House of Assembly for passing the law and working in harmony to tackle sexual and gender-based violence issues, which has now become a scourge across the country.

According to the governor, “not a day passes without reported cases of rape and child defilement in Ekiti State.”

He submitted that it was imperative for his administration to work towards building policies that would prioritize victims and ensure justice is served swiftly against perpetrators.

Reaffirming his administration’s commitment to tackling cases of SGBV in the state, Fayemi highlighted some of the moves made during his first tenure to end the scourge which included  enacting laws, policies and programmes that explicitly prohibit and punish sexual violence.

He added that state government also established a Register of Sex Offenders of all persons convicted of acts of sexual violence and adopted a policy of publicly naming and shaming convicted sex offenders.

However, he proposed that there was a need to do more to confront the issues that still so abound.

“We are going to overhaul and modernize our register of sex offenders to ensure it is effective in combating sexual violence,” the governor said.

    Fayemi further stated that he has directed the Ministry of Justice to review existing laws to activate a process of ensuring harsher sentences for offences of rape and child defilement.

    The governor also promised that the Ekiti’s Gender Based Violence Management Committee, tasked with providing rapid and comprehensive responses to all forms of violence against women and children, will be better empowered to monitor SGBV programs in the state.

    Meanwhile, a group of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Friday morning led protesters to the Nigerian Police headquarters, Abuja demanding justice for rape and sexual violence victims.

    The protesters who displayed banners with various inscriptions calling for justice for sexual violence also asked the government to declare a state of emergency on Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) issues in the country.

    Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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