- The Survivor’s Guide is a no-fluff, realistic, hands-on guide created to support survivors of sexual and gender-based violence has been launched
- Through the guide, survivors will know: the relevant terms, myths, and lies around sexual and gender-based violence
- The resource material was launched in Abuja by Invictus Africa, an organisation that promotes human rights and addresses inequalities in the society
FCT, Abuja - Invictus Africa has formally released The Survivor’s Guide, a practical guide for survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence.
The guide is developed as part of Invictus Africa’s ongoing Prevention, Accountability, Support (PAS) Project supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
The project is aimed at preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) through capacity development, demanding accountability from duty bearers using empirical evidence, and providing support to survivors through access to relevant resources.
It is also part of efforts to ensure holistic support for survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence, and in commemoration of the ongoing 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
PAY ATTENTION: Subscribe to Digital Talk newsletter to receive must-know business stories and succeed BIG!
Speaking to journalists at the launch of the resource material in Abuja, Bukky Shonibare - Executive Director, Invictus Africa, stated:
The Survivor’s Guide is a no-fluff, realistic, hands-on guide created to support survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as they navigate the period after sexual violence, whether in the decisions they must make immediately or the actions they may take years after.
Through this guide, survivors will know: the relevant terms, the myths, and lies around SGBV, what to do and not do if raped or sexually abused, how and where to get help, and their rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), the Violence Against Persons Prohibitions (VAPP) Act (2015), the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015), and other extant laws.
The Survivor’s Guide accompanies the Orange Pages, which Invictus Africa launched in July, containing contact details of over 200 SGBV responders and service providers across all states in Nigeria.
Through these resources – Orange Pages, The Survivor’s Guide, and others that we have developed and will develop – we want to make sure that SGBV survivors are never left stranded by ensuring they have access to simple, friendly, and easy-to-use tools that can provide them with the relevant information they may need at any time.
With The Survivor’s Guide, we hope that survivors feel supported, and that the people who are in their lives also are provided with the language to truly support them and not further, knowingly or unknowingly, contribute to their trauma. The Survivor’s Guide can be downloaded from www.invictus.ng/SurvivorsGuide.
Also speaking, Aderonke Bello, Executive Director of FAME Foundation, noted that her foundation which is gender-focused and uses sports to preach development, will partner with Invictus Africa to ensure the guide gets to all major sporting arenas and venues across the country.
On her part, Osai Ojigho, Executive Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, commended Invictus Africa for providing a resource for SGBV. She stated that those affected must be called survivors and not victims, to preserve their dignity. She added that Amnesty International will disseminate the material across its supporters' network.
Kelechi Ofim of TechHer stated that the organisation will contribute to caring for survivors by working to ensure the accountability of VAPP law is upheld in various states. He noted that there is a need to improve on the weaknesses of the law, adding that some states are passing a watered-down version of the law.
Tsema Ede of Heinrich Boll Foundation described the launch of the material as a labour of love and a precious story.
To think that an organisation makes it available is important and commendable.
CSOs concerned about rising cases of violence against women
Earlier in the year, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations, CSOs under the aegis of #StateofEmergencyGBV Movement, raised an alarm over the rising cases of violence against women in Nigeria.
The CSOs stated that the cases have been on the rise despite the State of Emergency on Gender-Based Violence, declared by Nigerian governors in 2020.
The groups made their concerns known at a press conference in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
FG to review Nigeria’s national gender policy
The head, Gender-Based Violence and Data Management Branch in the ministry of women affairs, Mrs. Udeme Abia disclosed this recently.
Mrs. Abia added that the African Development Bank is supporting the national gender policy situation analysis with support from the ministry's consultant Professor Olabisi Aina, stressing that the review is long overview since the last one was held in 2006.