The Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Senator Uche Ekwunife has called for stiffer punishments for rapists, stressing the need for victims of rape and sexual abuse to speak out and report these cases to the appropriate authorities.
Senator Ekwunife made this call recently when she settled the hospital bill of the 20-year old groundnut seller and victim of rape who took in and delivered triplet at Prevailer Care Clinic and Maternity in Mbaitolu Local Government Area of Imo State.
Promptly responding to the incident published on social media, Senator Uche Ekwunife who was represented by her Legislative Assistant, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Chinwuko Ekwunife Presented the sum of 500,000.00 naira, bundles of diapers and tissues to the victim and mother of triplet. She described the trauma the innocent groundnut seller went through in the hands of her assaulters and her subsequent inability to pay her hospital bill of N422, 000 as an ordeal which should not be the lot of any Nigerian. “This incident is unfortunate and an eye opener to the challenges being faced by victims of rape and sexual abuse.
“We need to encourage victims of sexual abuse to speak out in order to assist the government in the fight against rape and other sexual abuses. Parents also have to engage their wards more often in order to identify when they have been taken advantage of, and ensure that they inform the appropriate authorities so that proper investigations, arrests and prosecutions can be made.
“In Nigeria weak legislation and stigmatization are some of the numerous impediments to the investigation and prosecution of rape cases. As a strong advocate against rape and gender based violence over the years I am saddened over the ordeal of this young lady hence my call for stiffer punishments for rapists and for a more proactive action against the increasing cases of rape across the nation.
“I am appealing to the Imo State Government to render further assistance to support the young mother of triplet as well as ensure that those who abused her and put her in the family way are fished out and made to face the full weight of the law.
“I appreciate Prevailer Care Clinic and Maternity for ensuring that the victim received good medical care and I also use this medium to call on other stakeholders to assist the vulnerable in situations like this as well as ensure that cases of rape and sexual abuse are appropriately reported, investigated and prosecuted.” She said