Imo First Lady inaugurates sexual assault referral centre in Owerri


Poised to take the campaign against gender-based violence, particularly sexual abuse against women to a commendable level, the wife of the Governor of Imo State, Chioma Uzodimma has inaugurated the sexual assault referral centre in Owerri named “The Deborah House”.

Uba Group

She did on Friday even as the 16 days (November 25 – December 10) of activism against gender-based violence campaign has kicked-off globally.

Speaking to an audience of women and other stakeholders interested in eradicating gender-based violence globally in Owerri on Friday, the Imo First Lady noted that The Deborah House would be a one-stop project that prioritizes the needs and rights of sexual assault survivors such as screening and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, treatment and care for young sex abuse victims, and psychological services by way of counselling support.

Others, Uzodimma said include: provision of legal services to victims, provision of shelter, general rehabilitation services as well as availing victims of information and education.

She said 36 First Ladies in Nigeria as a collective had taken a decision against gender-based violence (GBV) in the country, and through their efforts, have adopted policies like GBV mitigation action plan, GBV coordinating mechanism on implementation of violence against person prohibition Act, GBV survivors funds, among others.

Uzodimma said the inauguration of the SARC signposts another bold step by the Nigeria Governors Wives Forum, through the Nigeria Governors Wives Against Gender-based Violence (NGWA-GBV), to seek support for sexually-abused women to overcome the trauma that could arise from the menace.

Explaining that her office is excited to be part of the efforts to achieve enduring result in that direction, Mrs. Uzodimma expressed gratitude to the wife of the former Governor of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, who, she said, attracted support from MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Access Bank, Procter and Gamble among other sources, using the NIGWF.

On the newly inaugurated Centre, Mrs. Uzodimma said plans are afloat by her office engage doctors, nurses, psychologists and lawyers who would provide medical and legal services to the victims.

She thanked her sister First Ladies for their untiring support to eradicate gender-based violence wherever it exists in the country, even as she implored religious groups, Civil Society Organisations, volunteers and the general public to come on board the effort to rid our society of ills plaguing it which is in sync with Governor Hope Uzodimma’s 3R mantra administration that includes safeguarding the most vulnerable citizens of Imo.