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Rape: Expert advises traditional, religious leaders to sensitise followers

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Dr Christopher Laima, a Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecologist, Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH), Gombe, has called on traditional and religious leaders to sensitise followers on the dangers of rape.

Laima, who is also the Focal Person for Gender Based Violence FTH, gave the advice on Friday in an interview with newsmen in Gombe.

He said the leaders have vital roles to play towards reducing the rate of rape cases in the state and country at large.

“Our traditional and religious leaders, we need to know that in our society, rape has is now being considered as a normal thing.

“There are many people that are raping persons; they don’t know that it is rape. So, we need to enlighten them.

“Apart from enlightenment, we need to help our youths to understand some of the risk factors that lead to rape,” he said.

According to him, they discover that people who are raped mostly are girls under the age of 15 and majority of them don’t stay with their parents.

He added that some of them are usually people that have been brought from their villages and street hawkers who do not go to school.

Laima advised parents to be very careful about where their children go to in the evening as majority of rape occurs in the night in uncompleted buildings.

“If there are uncompleted buildings around, they should be under surveillance, because they drag victims to those places and rape them there,” he advised.

“So, if the traditional rulers and religious leaders understand these issues, they will begin to put their eyes to the ground.

“When these things occur and it is kept hidden, some people will keep doing it. That is why it is the place of the police to take such cases to court.’’

According to him, if perpetrators are punished, it will go a long way to instil fear and discipline in even those that have intention to commit such crime.

He further said that rape leads to unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, physical injury, spread diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV, among other illnesses.

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