On 31 March 2021, the First Lady of Lagos state, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu officially launched the new Idera Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). It was established with funding from the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme.
The Centre, like other SARCs across Nigeria, will provide counselling and forensic medical examination services to victims of sexual violence in a confidential manner at the facility within the General Hospital, Alimosho.
Many cases of sexual assault go unreported because victims are often reluctant to report due to limited facilities to provide victims with necessary medical assistance, trauma counselling, in addition to the social stigma associated with rape. The Idera Centre marks the 30th SARC set up in Nigeria to provide support for victims of sexual violence.
The First Lady emphasised that the establishment of the centre confirms the commitment of the Lagos state government to stamp out the menace of sexual and gender-based violence. She enjoined everyone to increase advocacy efforts and speak against the menace of SGBV in society. The launch was attended by senior government officials, traditional rulers and representatives of civil society organisations.
“Alimosho is not only one of the largest local government areas, it has the highest sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) crime rates in the state. It is comforting that the SARC is being strategically and intentionally located there.”
"We must take the issue of getting justice for SGBV victims very seriously. Each one of us ought to be an ambassador in the fight against SGBV."
Dr. (Mrs) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Her Excellency, First Lady of Lagos state
"The issue of SGBV affects everyone. This crisis calls for comprehensive support and actions from the federal, state and local governments."
Danladi Plang, National Programme Manager, RoLAC