The Centre Manager at the at the Mirabel Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Juliet Olumuyiwa-Rufai, has said no fewer than 2,252 rape cases were reported at the centre in two years and seven months. She disclosed this during a press briefing to inaugurate a booklet by a non-governmental organisation, Project Alert on Violence Against Women and Children. The booklet, ‘Sexual Violence in Nigeria: A silent epidemic,’ documents rape cases in Lagos. She said, “Between July 2014 and February 2017, we have treated about 2,252 cases.
“They involved real penetration of the victims’ private parts. The youngest person was a four-month-old baby, and the oldest was a 70-year-old woman, who was a stroke patient and was raped by her landlord’s son. The challenge, however, is that some victims face a lot of stigmatisation and they are not free to come out. Also, they don’t want to press charges because of pressures from their families, religious institutions and landlords. The factor reinforcing rape is impunity. If we have enough convictions, it will serve as a deterrent to others. We have not recorded up to 20 convictions since we started. Because of this, intending perpetrators are emboldened. Also, there is no support for the victims.”