Why sexual scandal persists in Nigerian Varsities – CISLAC

A civil rights movement under the aegis of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre on Wednesday shed light on why the rate of sexual exploitation in tertiary institutions in Nigeria had remained very high.

The organisation attributed it to the absence of justice for victims of the crime.

CISLAC said that the refusal of victims to speak out due to perceived distrust in the University system was also aiding the menace.

Speaking at a stakeholders consultative forum on sexual exploitation in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, Executive Director, CISLAC and Transparency International, Nigeria, Auwal Rafsanjani, said the crime is mostly committed by high profile individuals in the schools.

At the event, CISLAC launched an electronic channel, TIMBY, a platform for reporting cases of sexual exploitation and where victims could pursue psychological support and redress.

Rafsanjani lamented increasing cases of girls and women being extorted when requesting basic services such as medication, positions or good grades at school or universities.

He observed that many students are not aware of their fundamental rights, noting that as such, they cannot tell when it is violated or know where to go seeking redress.

He said, “The fear of stigmatization by society which is very common and the fact that perpetrators are mostly high profile individuals who are either lecturers or non-academic staff who have some level of influence or power within the institution and the society makes a lot of victims reluctant to report or speak out.

“There is distrust for the system, they are unsure if they will get justice or the necessary redress.”

Rafsanjani stressed the need for all Nigerians especially victims of sexual exploitation to understand their rights and also speak out.

The CISLAC boss urged school management, anti-corruption agencies and other relevant institutions of government to exhibit transparency and integrity towards putting mechanisms in place for addressing the issue.

During her presentation, CISLAC legal officer, Bathsheba Tagwai, noted that the stereotype by society that females are the only victims of sextortion should be reconsidered, saying there are situations even though not so prevalent where males have been victims.

Credit: Punch


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