Jigawa state to establish more Sexual Assault Referral centres

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The Jigawa State Government says it would establish additional Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) to cater for rape victims in the state.

The state’s Head of Civil Service (HoS), Alhaji Muhammad Tahir, disclosed this when he received the Country Director of Pathfinder International, an NGO, Dr Farouk Mahmud, in Dutse, the state capital.

Alhaji Isma’il Ibrahim, the Spokesman of the Office of the HoS, said the visit was an advocacy to scale up public awareness on the high rate of sexual assault in the state.

Ibrahim said the state government had been working closely with security agencies, traditional rulers, Council of Ulamah (Islamic clerics) and other related organisations to eradicate Gender Based Violence in the state.

He added that the government would ensure timely prosecution of those involved in the menace.

He said that the state would continue to partner with Pathfinder to curb violence against women in the state.

The spokesman stated that the Pathfinder country director had earlier told the HoS that they were seeking government support to eradicate domestic violence in the state.

According to him, Mahmud noted that the Pathfinder is an NGO working towards changing and saving the lives of women and their families throughout developing countries by increasing access to essential reproductive health services.

Ibrahim added that Mahmud appealed to the state government to ensure steady supply of drugs for Gender Based Violence survivors.

A pilot Sexual Assault Referral Centres was established in 2016 by Jigawa state government in collaboration with the Department for International Development (DFID), under its Justice for All (J4A) programme.

The SARC was established at the General Hospital, Dutse, Dutse Local Government Area of the state.

The centre was established to provide counseling services to victims of rape by members of staff of the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

The centre would also serve as an avenue where evidence could be established against rapists.

Bilkisu Pai