The Country Vice President and National president of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, (FIDA) Nigeria, Rhoda Tyoden has called for the establishment of sexual assault referral centers or One Stop Shop in all the Local government areas and communities in Nigeria saying that this will make prosecution easier and faster.
Tyoden stated this in Abuja on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of a three-day training for community paralegals on mitigation of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in and around the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
She said the One stop shop or the sexual assault referral centre is a place where victims of Sexual and Gender Base Violence (SGBV) are referred to that has the police to take report, the psychosocial therapist that will counsel the victim, the medical personnel that will attend to the victim and take her test and you have the lawyer that will also advise.
The FIDA country vice president further said people will feel more comfortable to go to the one stop shop and report whatever has taken place and then you have people there that will attend to you.
According to her “FIDA and other Civil Society Organisations are advocating for the establishment of these sexual referral centers in all our local government areas and our communities because it will be a place where a victim of SGBV will go to have the police take your report, you have psychosocial therapist that will counsel you, you have the medical personnel that will attend to you and take your test, you have the lawyer that will also advise.
“And so it is a one stop shop and that way, it makes it easier because most people don’t want to come out or go to the police station to report because they believe that they don’t get the actual response that should be given to them. So they will rather go back and suffer in silence. With this one stop shop, people will feel more comfortable to go in there and report whatever has taken place and then you have people there that will attend to you”.
She noted that FIDA is training community leaders as part of their corporate social responsibility who will in turn be their champions to fight against SBV in their communities.
In her address, the program officer of the Embassy of Switzerland, Ms. Ojoma Ali said the country is supporting this project to mitigate GBV through training of community paralegals in FCT so there would be an increased knowledge of basic human rights as well as protection from GBV within the framework of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015.