The Akwa Ibom State First Lady, Dr Martha Udom Emmanuel has urged the state Police Command to refrain from harassing and demanding money from victims of Gender-Based Violence, before their cases are attended to.
Speaking during a courtesy visit on the Police Commissioner, Akwa Ibom State, CP Andrew Amiengheme, with members of the gender-based violence management committee, the governor’s wife noted that demanding from victims who are already wounded and traumatized is an act of insensitivity.
“We are here on a courtesy visit on behalf of the gender-based violence management committee, Akwa Ibom State, to look into cases of GBV in the state which you have been very supportive of. We’ve been fighting this menace over the years now, especially cases of rape that has been on the high side, so far police most times have cooperated with us.
“We are here to officially tell you that we want to work with you and we want you to work with us. I’m saying this because there are some police stations in some local governments that are not friendly, I want you sir to have a meeting with them and address this issue.
”They should not be demanding a ransom from these poor victims, nobody should be demanding from somebody that is already wounded, they are already adding salt into injury. Also, settlement of rape cases and granting of bails should not be encouraged but it’s still going on, when they do that, these people will go out there and be bragging and it takes the intervention of another policeman to rearrest them, it shouldn’t be like that, we should follow one guideline.
“The officers should empathize with the victims and give them succour, we have so many cases that when you go to the station to report, the officers will be like, why did you dress like that, where were you, why did you go there, all these things scare them, that is one of the reasons why people when you ask them to report they will tell you no.
“In the case of husband and wife; they will tell the woman, go back, go and settle with your husband. I know they can settle their matter at home but if somebody takes the stress of coming to the station to report, I think that person needs help and the case is beyond that person, and that harassment should not be there anymore.”
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