Coronavirus (790) COVID-19 has exposed Nigeria’s Sexual Violence Menace

2 July, 2020

From Nigeria Health Watch. Extracts below. Read in full: https://nigeriahealthwatch.com/covid-19-has-exposed-nigerias-sexual-viol...

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'In Nigeria, about 31% of women aged 15-49 years have experienced sexual abuse. There is gross under-reporting of sexual abuse cases, which may be as a result of stigma faced by the survivors...

There has been an unprecedented surge in the number of reported cases of sexual abuse following the COVID-19 crisis...

Sexual violence can cause serious short and long-term physical, mental and sexual health problems for the survivors. Survivors are at risk of depression, alcohol and substance abuse, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, physical injuries and deaths in some circumstances...

As an immediate intervention to prevent long term complications, survivors of sexual abuse should have access to comprehensive care, including psychological support...

Most importantly, society needs to understand the implications of sexual violence. There is need to continue awareness campaigns on the effects of sexual violence on both the survivors and the society, and such campaign should target religious and community leaders who are known to raise awareness and influence attitudes, behaviors and practices of people. This awareness campaign should also focus on reducing stigma and promoting a culture that encourages survivors and their families to speak out...'

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org