Barely a year after signing the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) into law, Bauchi State government have recorded about 226 suspected cases of rape and other unnatural acts.
The data compiled within three years by the State Action Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in collaboration with the state ministry of Women Affairs and Child Development raised concerns among stakeholders who advocate for the establishment of mobile courts to handle rape and other related cases.
Another data collated by Ikra Foundation, a non-governmental organisation indicated that it recorded 500 suspected SGBV cases in Bauchi within one year. According, to the data, three area councils account for the chunk number of the complaints – Toro, Katagum and Alkaleri local governments.
LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that minors were the most affected victims of the recorded cases.
Already, Bauchi State Chief Judge approved the establishment of three special courts to handle SGBV cases. Two out of the three courts were domiciled at the Magistrate Court Division while one was cited at High Court Division.
Bauchi State first lady, Aisha Bala Mohammed who is also the chairperson of the State Action Committee on SGVB said of the 226 complaints received, 68 were domestic violence; 47 were child abuse; and 53 were family matters.
In devising preventive strategies to mitigate the courage, the committee socialised mothers and caregivers in nine local governments ostensibly perceived to be the worst hit. However, the details of the area councils were not given.
Aisah explained that referral centres, centres for free medical services to survivors of GBV, a temporary shelter spaces furnished and equipped at Sani Abacha Ward were established to provide post-trauma care to victims.
Governor Bala Mohammed warned judges and other stakeholders to ensure the diligent conclusion of all reported SGBV cases to serve justice to victims and reprimand the perpetrators.