Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), an NGO focused on reducing the prevalence of gender-based violence in Nigeria, has reopened its centre to cater for survivors of sexual violence.
This decision was made after the NGO observed a 64 percent increase in call cases, during the 14-day lockdown mandated by the Federal Government, to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
As the lockdown period continues, WARIF states that it will continue with skeletal operations at its centre, with opening times on Monday and Wednesday only between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm.
Dr. Kemi Da-Silvia Ibru, founder of WARIF, reiterated all safety measures put in place to prevent cross-contamination between survivors who visit the centre on these days.
She also said WARIF had provided personal protective equipments to ensure the safety of its frontline workers.
“During this period of lockdown we have observed that the number of calls received through our 24hr confidential helpline to report cases of sexual abuse had increased by 64% compared to the time before the lockdown. This is worrisome for us because sexual abuse thrives on secrecy. The larger community needs to be aware that although we are all limiting our interactions with friends, families and neighbours, we have to be mindful that sexual abuse is happening and in fact, the rate is becoming alarming. Everyone is encouraged to check up on their loved ones,” said Dr. Ibru.