Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), has launched a platform to identify, report and address rape, human trafficking and other forms of violence against women and girls.
Reported cases of Domestic and Sexual violence in Lagos have risen by 267 per cent, since the lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease commenced in the state.
The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team ( DSVRT), coordinator, Titilayo Vivour-Adeniyi revealed this during a live radio interview on Tuesday, April 7th.
Founder of WARIF, Dr. Kemi DaSilva said the organisation had in 2019, trained over 500 traditional birth attendants from 15 local government areas across Lagos State on how to use a software that allows users report cases in real time, allowing quicker responses from healthcare teams.
She added that the newly launched platform would help raise awareness that there are organisations like WARIF “that can provide valuable services to support victims.”
“Aside from the stigma associated with gender-based violence, healthcare providers in Nigeria also battle cultural norms. The perpetrator is usually well-known and might even be a family member,” said Dasilva
DaSilva credits the platform with helping to upend traditions of silenced around sexual abuse.
“Traditional birth attendants are sharing problems they ordinarily wouldn’t have had an opportunity to share, much less address in a timely manner, due to the remoteness of the communities in which they work. By training them, we also encourage supportive relationships which helps all of us collectively shine a spotlight on solving these problems.
“When cases have been identified, we’re always well-received when presenting to the community gatekeepers in the various geographical areas we visit. They are happy for us to intervene because they lack knowledge or training on how to help. In many cases it’s a question of lacking the means to communicate for assistance, which our platform can now enable.
“We’re working with people who actually care and are willing to work with us to enable us to scale and impact a wider group of women we wouldn’t ordinarily be able to access.”