The Women’s Right Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), an NGO, has called for stringent punitive measures against rape to deter offenders.
Mrs Anisa Ari, Senior Programme Coordinator of WRAPA, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja. According to Ari, if sanctions were not stringent enough against rape offenders, deterrence could not be achieved.
She stated that the level of impunity on rape in Nigeria is saddening, both old and young are not spared, and it is usually perpetrated by persons known to the victim. What is worse is the lack of swift response of the leaders in making sure the perpetrators of the crime receive justice.
Ari advised that sanctions against rapists need to carry enough weight to underscore the seriousness of the offence.
“A situation where perpetrators are convicted to between six months to one year imprisonment, with the option to pay a fine of N20,000 is not stringent enough for the offence of rape and sanctions have to carry enough weight, except the gravity of the crime is not properly perceived,” she said.
The programme coordinator said a sexual offenders register” had been opened in Abuja to profile and document perpetrators of rape, and to be shared with key employers of labour and other stakeholders.
She called for adequate psychological care for victims of rape to enable them overcome the ordeal and live their normal lives again.