In the wake of increases in sexual abuse, the Nigerian Senate is in the process of enacting critical legislation to protect victims of rape against any form of stigmatization in the country, Channels TV reports.
The bill, titled ‘Rape and Insurgency Victims Stigmatization (Prohibition) Bill 2019’, scaled second reading during Wednesday’s plenary session. The bill provides for the prosecution and punishment of any person or group of persons who stigmatizes such victims.
Leading the debate on the bill, the Sponsor of the legislation, Senator Mohammed Musa, said if passed into law, the bill will encourage victims of rape to testify in court and also ensure the re-integration of victims of insurgency into the community of their choice.
Senator Musa said the conditions most victims of rape are exposed to are traumatic and blames this on what he describes as the ineptitude of the Nigerian justice system. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has referred the bill to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters for further legislative work.
The Committee, which is chaired by Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC – Ekiti Central), is expected to submit its report back to the Senate in four weeks.
While speaking, the lawmaker who bemoaned the trauma which most victims of rape suffer and are exposed to in the country, blamed the development on what he described as the “ineptitude” of the Nigerian justice system.
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