As the cases of the COVID-19 infection in Lagos state continue to rise daily, an increasing number of cases of violence against women and girls is also being recorded, Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), one of the nation’s foremost NGOs tackling the prevalence of gender-based violence in Nigeria, has become concerned with the number of these cases not being attended to in the rural areas.
Recognizing the need to address this issue at the grass-root level, the organization has launched the WARIF COVID 19 Response in Rural Communities Initiative.
This sensitization program was designed in collaboration with traditional birth attendants, previously trained by WARIF as first responders on gender-based violence cases.
These health care providers, already educated on the prevalence of domestic and sexual gender-based violence within their grassroot communities and the immediate response and management of these cases, have been galvanized into small cell groups and are making house to house visits in their various communities to offer assistance to women who are in lock down with their spouses and partners. Cases of abuse in these households are being identified and recorded and are referred to the WARIF Rape Crisis Centre.
WARIF operates a 24-hour confidential helpline 0809 210 0009, to assist survivors of gender-based violence and provides free immediate medical care, counselling and social welfare to all women at risk at the WARIF Rape Crisis Centre