Sign A Petition for SARCs
to fund Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)
A Sexual Assault Referral Centre provides the following services to victims of sexual assault:
● Immediate, emergency medical treatment
● Forensic medical examination services by specially trained doctors and midwives (who prepare reports that are admissible as evidence where appropriate)
● Advice on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the risk of pregnancy
● Immediate and on-going counselling support from people experienced in the specialised field of counselling victims of sexual abuse
● Support in contacting the police, social welfare department or CSOs where appropriate and where the victim requests it
● Advice and on-going support throughout any police investigation and prosecution
There are currently, 29 Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) in Nigeria.
Since the first SARC was established in 2013, over 15,000 people have been assisted by the SARCs, over 75% of whom have been girls under 18 years and nearly 60%, girls under 14 years old
Victims can ‘walk-in’ to the SARC or can be referred by any number of agencies including the Police, Ministries of Gender / Women Affairs, Hospitals, CSO/NGOs, etc. All cases are treated with confidentiality and no victim is required to report their case to any other agency if they do not want to (if the victim is a minor, reporting to the appropriate authorities is mandatory). The SARCs provide services free of charge.
The services that SARCs provide are essential, urgent and lifesaving, fulfilling a critical service delivery gap for the vulnerable and disadvantaged, free of charge. State governments need to commit to funding, replicating and sustaining SARC services in each state. State governments that already have SARCs need direct resources to keep it running effectively and States that don’t have a SARC need a commitment from their government to establish one.
Petition for State Governments to fund Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)
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