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Olakunle Orebe of the Gender Unit, Lagos State police command (left); Serifat Adesukanmi, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Forensic Department, Force CID Alagbon; Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru, founder, Women At Risk Foundation (WARIF); and other law enforcement officers at the training held in Lagos.

Following the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant awarded to the Women at Risk Foundation (WARIF) via the Pathfinder platform, the foundation has trained 40 law enforcement officers across Lagos State on adequate gender-based violence management and the role of law enforcement in the sexual assault landscape.

The interactive workshop took place at the WARIF centre, a sexual assault referral centre run by the organisation, on August 30.

It brought together members of the Lagos State police command across Alakara, Ketu, Ajah, Adeniji, Ilupeju and Alakuko divisions to educate them on rape, domestic and physical violence, and sexual assault, as well as the techniques to identify, manage and refer potential cases to the WARIF centre.

The workshop also served as a platform to teach the law enforcement officers about the services WARIF offers such as medical consultations, treatment and screening for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), counselling and social welfare intervention.

Founder of WARIF, Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru, said: “Based on current statistics, approximately 10,000 girls are sexually assaulted or raped daily in Nigeria.

In addition to hospitals and primary healthcare centres, police stations are usually the first point of contact for many of the survivors of rape and sexual violence in our communities.

This is why we have taken this critical step to ensure that law enforcers are sensitized to these cases and are trained on the appropriate responses, documentation and referral of the cases to centres such as WARIF.

“We also want to encourage survivors of rape and sexual violence to speak up and reach out to law enforcement agents when these situations occur, being assured that the cases will be handled in an appropriate manner.

We hope to with this training, build a strong lasting partnership with the law enforcement agencies, specifically the police, in the campaign against rape and sexual violence in Nigeria” she added.



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