British Council Trains Social Worker on Sexual Assault Trauma

The British Council (BC) Nigeria, has trained a group of medical personnel, counsellors and social workers on sexual trauma counselling as well as forensic medical examination and documentation.

The five day training was carried out with support of the European Union (EU) under the BC’s Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In a statement at the weekend signed by the National Programme Manager RoLAC, Mr. Danladi Phlang, stated that the training was carried out with the aim of building the capacity and competence of medical personnel to provide professional assistance to victims of sexual assault in the Sexual Assault and Referral Centres (SARCs) soon to be established in the FCT and Edo States.

Danladi disclosed that victims of sexual violence in Nigeria are often discriminated against and discouraged from reporting cases of rape due to the social stigma attached to being a victim.

He noted that even in the event of willingness to report, they do not know how to report sexual violence and who or where to turn for support.

According to him, this has made many victims neither receive the support they need to deal with the experience, nor seek justice through the legal system,adding that The Sexual Assault and Refferal Centres (SARCs) tend to solve this issue as it is established for this purpose.

He stated: “The Sexual Assault and Refferal Centres (SARCs) are victim-focused facilities that provide immediate medical treatment, counselling and follow up support to survivors of sexual assault, including support for their initial engagement with the legal system if the victim desires.

“The services that a SARC provides, rests upon the availability of trained social workers and counsellors; and medical personnel that are competent to deliver professional counselling and medical services to victims of sexual assault.

“The RoLAC supported training is therefore tailored to meet the needs of personnel that will work in the SARCs to be established on the FCT and Edo State to support victims of rape and sexual assault.”

Danladi reiterated that “the services to be provided will enable the victims to overcome the trauma of their experiences and move forward to live healthy and meaningful lives, and also enhance prospects for the prosecution and conviction of perpetrators by gathering relevant evidence providing professional documentation.”

The RoLAC programme is funded by the European Union under the 11th EDF and implemented in five states in Nigeria – Kano, Lagos, Anambra, Edo, Adamawa and at the Federal level to enhance good governance in Nigeria by contributing to the strengthening of the rule of law, to curbing corruption and to reducing impunity, through support to criminal justice and anti- corruption reform and supporting initiatives to enhance access to justice for women, children and persons with disabilities.

By PRNigeria