DNA laboratories for forensic investigations and other healthcare facilities that help survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) across the nation to get justice are being underutilised.
This was made known by Osai Ojigho, Executive Director of Amnesty International, at the formal launch of The Survivors’ Guide by Invictus Africa on Wednesday, to commemorate the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
The guide was developed as part of Invictus Africa’s ongoing Prevention, Accountability, Support (PAS) project supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
Ojigho said the underutilisation of these facilities is among the issues pushed forward by Invictus Africa to hold the government accountable in collaboration with Amnesty International, FAME Foundation, and Heinrich Boll Foundation.
In a press statement, Bukky Shonibare, the Executive Director of Invictus Africa explained how the handbook is a hands-on guide to support survivors of SGBV.
“Through this guide, survivors will know: the relevant terms, the myths and lies around SGBV, what to do and not do if raped or sexually abused, how and where to get help,” Shonibare said.
The contents of the handbook include sections that let survivors know their rights, how to deal with flashbacks, and a ‘know the lies’ chapter where myths and lies are debunked.
Shonibare explained that the guide accompanies the Orange Pages, which Invictus Africa launched in July, containing contact details of over 200 SGBV responders and service providers across all states in Nigeria.
“Through these resources — Orange Pages, The Survivor’s Guide, and others that we have developed and will develop, we want to make sure that SGBV survivors are never left stranded.”
Invictus Africa is a non-governmental organisation that addresses inequalities affecting vulnerable people especially women and girls through evidence-based advocacies, legal reviews, and capacity development.
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