Rape survivors still stigmatised, denied justice in Nigeria: Amnesty International

Amnesty International

A new report by Amnesty International reveals that rape survivors are often denied justice, despite Nigerian authorities’ pledge to wage war against sexual and gender-based violence.

In the report titled Nigeria: A Harrowing Journey; Access To Justice for Women and Girls Survivors of Rape, the human rights watchdog said that the failure of the police to investigate sexual violence complain had deprived survivors of justice.

Amnesty International explained that most rape incidents in Nigeria were usually unreported as a result of corruption, stigma and victim-blaming.

“Concrete actions have not been taken to tackle the rape crisis in Nigeria with the seriousness it deserves,” Amnesty said in a report quoting its Nigeria director, Osai Ojigho.

“Women and girls continue to be failed by a system that makes it increasingly difficult for survivors to get justice,” she added

Amnesty International in the report said cultural stereotypes, failures of law enforcement to investigate rape cases, toxic misogyny and insufficient support for survivors, created a culture of silence and impunity that have deprived rape victims of seeking and getting justice.

The report further detailed that there was an upsurge in cases of rape during the national lockdown imposed to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in 2020.

The rights organisation called on the Nigerian government to thoroughly, promptly, and impartially investigate rape cases with the of bringing perpetrators to justice.

Amnesty International asked Nigerian police to provide all necessary support to survivors and act in line with their code of conduct, by providing a safe process of seeking justice for survivors to report rape and other gender-based violence and get justice.

The organisation also charged courts to ensure that cases of sexual violence are fairly and promptly prosecuted.