By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
An assault referral center that will provide free comprehensive and quality medical counseling, as well as welfare services to survivors of sexual assault, has begun operation in Ogun State.
Wife of the state governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun while inspecting the Centre office complex at Sagamu, said the services would include medical and forensic examinations after a sexual assault or rape, provision of psychosocial support for recent and past sexual assault victims, among others.
She advised citizens to develop the act of social responsibilities and assistance to those that need care at the Centre, adding that people should embrace communal living, to inculcate moral values in children.
The governor’s wife who also presented certificates to staff of the Centre that were trained on professional and timely manner to help victims overcome the trauma of rape, urged them to respond promptly and do their work diligently.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Funmilayo Efuwape, commended Mrs. Abiodun for her support, describing her as “a mother that is capable to rely on”.
Efuape assured that her ministry would embark on advocacy and sensitisation, particularly on media stations, for more enlightenment on sexual assault-related issues, noting that perpetrators would be persecuted in due course.
On his part, the Chief Medical Director, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Bunmi Fatugase enjoined the staff to maintain the cordial connection between them and the victims, so as to build their confidence.
Contributing, a legal prractitioner, Barrister Damola Lapite, who enjoined elders in communities not to neglect the young ones, advised parents to rise up to their responsibilities and give proper training to their wards.