A bill, titled ‘Rape and Insurgency Victims Stigmatization (Prohibition) Bill 2019’, has scaled through second reading during Wednesday’s plenary session of the Senate.
The bill sponsored by Senator Mohammed Musa, seeks to enact critical legislation to protect victims of rape against any form of stigmatization in the country.
Leading the debate on the bill, Senator 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.
“Presently, rape is now a common phenomenon and occurs worldwide. In fact, available data suggests that in some countries one in five women report sexual violence or being raped by an intimate partner and up to a third of girls report forced sexual initiation. This also cuts across diverse age range of victims ranging from young toddlers and children to even older victims aged 70 years old, with over seventy percent of the victims under 19.’’
“The bill is to provide for the legal and institutional framework for the protocol for re-integration of victims of rape and insurgency in Nigeria. If this bill is passed into law, it would certainly provide a new lease of life for victims of rape and insurgency in the country”, Musa said.
The bill will also provide for the prosecution and punishment of any person or group of persons who stigmatizes such victims.
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.