A bill to prohibit the stigmatisation of victims of rape and insurgency has passed second reading in the Senate.
This followed debate on the general principles of the bill by the sponsor, Sen. Sani Musa (Niger-APC) during Wednesday’s plenary. The bill is entitled “A Bill for an Act to Prohibit the Stigmatisation of Victims of Rape and Insurgency in order to encourage victims of rape to testify in court and victims of insurgency to be reintegrated into the community of his or choice.” Leading the debate, Musa said that the bill was read for the first time in the chamber on Dec. 10, 2019. He said that the objective of the bill was to provide a legal and institutional framework for the protocol for reintegration of victims of rape and insurgency in the country.
Musa said that the bill if passed into law, would certainly provide a new lease of life for victims of rape and in the country. He said that it was high time the Senate legislated and took actions that would address some of the shortcomings in the country’s legal system on issues of stigmatisation for victims of rape and violence.
Supporting the debate, Sen. Sandy Onor (Cross River-PDP) said that one of the topmost issue that was gaining currency in the country was the unending protest against rape and brutality against women. He said that the bill if passed, would show to Nigerians that “it is action not words’’. We have a way of moving quickly from theory to practice. “We must ensure that prosecution for rape and brutality against women is accelerated in our judicial process. Let justice be served in a way it should be served,” he said. In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said rape was a menace that must be addressed in the society. “We have to be in a haste to pass the legislation in order to arrest the situation.” He thereafter referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and they are to report back to the upper chamber in four weeks.