What to do if you are sexually asaulted or raped
• Immediately go to Mirabel Centre, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre for free medical and counselling services, alternatively, present your self to the nearest medical facility
• Mirabel Centre which is situated in LASUTH Ikeja is a one stop service centre with specially trained doctors and nurses, and trained counsellors for victims of sexual abuse providing them with immediate emergency medical treatment, forensic medical examination, and crisis support.
You can call 08056268573 to speak with a counsellor. The Centre is open from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. There are duty nurses and midwives on call Saturday and Sunday.
• Report to the nearest Police Station to you to ensure that the matter can be investigated and the perpetrator duly prosecuted. Reporting the crime can help you regain a sense of personal power and control. The following police stations in Lagos State have specifically trained police officers on Sexual and Gender Based Violence Crimes- Adeniji Adele, Isokoko and Ilupeju.
• Call a friend, a family member, or someone else you trust who can be with you and give you support.
• Preserve all physical evidence of the assault. Do not shower, bathe, douche, eat, drink, wash your hands, or brush your teeth until after you have had a medical examination. Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Place each item of clothing in a separate bag.
• Do not clean or disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred.
• Write down as much as you can remember about the circumstances of the assault, including a description of the assailant.. If you are unable to read and write, you are also encouraged to orally record the incident in your phone , narrating what just happened.
In the case where a minor is raped or a man is sexually assaulted, of the same locations are capable of responding to these cases.
In the instance when the victim is taken to a hospital unconscious / incoherent etc and rape is one of the medical issues identified, The police will take up the matter immediately it is alerted either by the hospital, relations or eye witnesses etc.
IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS TO HAVE
Mirabel Centre - 07013491769/ 08155770000/ 08187243468
Police Stations with Special Family Units
Adeniji Adele - 0810-498-2245
Isokoko - 08081774694
Ilupeju - 08033137432
Panti - 0807-440-8863
Office of the Public Defender - 0708-0601-080
Ministry of Women Affairs and
Poverty Alleviation - 0808-575-4226
Ministry of Justice - 0703-837-9705
The following is an outline of steps taken by the different Agencies:
SEXUAL ASSAULT REFERRAL CENTRE (MIRABEL CENTRE)
At the Mirabel Centre, survivors/victims are referred to as clients. The Centre provides free counselling and medical services to all clients including medication and lab test. If needed, the Centre also makes refund of transportation costs to the clients and also provides meals. For some of the clients, there has been need for a change of clothing. The Centre also makes referral to other agencies/organisations for follow up services that are not provided at the Centre.
When a client walks in either on self-referral or accompanied by a police officer:
• The counsellors explain the services provided at the Centre and seek the consent of the client (or care giver in the case of a minor) to provide any support. Once the consent is given, the counsellor will then provide psychological care and support to the client and thereafter refers the client to the medical team.
• The Medical personnel also explains the procedure for the forensic medical examination to the client and obtains consent before carrying out the comprehensive head to toe examination of the client.
• Where necessary, the client is referred to the lab for lab tests and clients may be referred to the VCT for HIV screening. The client is usually accompanied by a member of staff of the Centre.
• Drugs such as PEP, and other medications for STDs as the case may be are given to the client.
• Onward referral to the police if the client is from a police station or to other agencies if the client so desire.
• Follow-up on client are made by counsellors while cases of minors are referred to the office of Social Welfare.
OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER (OPD)
On receipt of an alert-
1. An OPD counsel will take the Victim to the Police Station within the Family Support Unit to make a complaint and ensure the case is investigated and offender arrested and prosecuted
2. Refers victim to Mirabel and ensure the victim gets all the necessary attention and support
3. Ensure the Victim is put in Protective Custody where necessary.
4. Assist the police with investigation and collection of evidence.
5. Ensures diligent prosecution of any case arising from the assault by watching brief and representing the victim
6. Assist victim in getting compensation
7. Assist victim in accessing the victim�s/witness support
Steps taken by the Model Police Station (MPS) sites i.e. Isokoko, Ilupeju and Adeniji Adele Divisions might be slightly different from others. Adeniji Adele is further slightly different at the point of report, because of the new Family Support Unit (FSU) facility, which allows victims/complainants to come directly, without passing through the Charge Room Office of the division. Other procedures:
1. Case is reported at the Charge Room, where the Charge Room Officer (CRO) decides it is Gender based/Domestic Violence and refers it to the Juvenile Welfare Centre (JWC)/FSU, as the case may be. FSU initiative is only in 3 divisions (Isokoko, Ilupeju and A/Adele), while JWC is in all others;
2. Statement of victim/complainant is recorded;
3. Victim is referred for medical examination and counselling;
4. Visit to the scene of crime;
5. Suspect is arrested and cautioned;
6. Other evidence e.g. physical evidence or corroborative evidence of witnesses;
7. If case is established sufficiently, it is charged to court;
8. Weekly report to CID;
9. If rape, case file is duplicated to DPP through CID (O/C Legal Office); and
10 DPP takes over for prosecution.
For other stations other than MPS, if case is rape, it is transferred to CID outright.
MINISTRY OF WOMEN AFFAIRS & POVERTY ALLEVIATION
On receipt of an alert:
1. Facilitate Rescue mercenary i.e. police, social worker, child development officer to move to scene
2. Victim is removed to safety
3. Necessary support to victim i.e. medical, psychological and social support.
4. Facilitate arrest and prosecution process of offender.
5. Follow up on interrogation and family tracing for victim where necessary.
6. Continue Psychological and Psychosocial support to victim.
DIRECTORATE OF CITIZENS� RIGHTS
When a report of domestic violence is received:
1. The personal details of the complainant and the respondent are obtained for record and official purposes.
2. The complainant in the case of physical abuse is referred to the nearest police station (in company of a Social Worker) to investigate the matter as well as obtain a medical form for treatment in a government hospital.
3. The respondent is arrested through the police and charged to the Family Court where he would be prosecuted by an officer of the law depending on the severity of the offence or degree of abuse committed.
4. The complainant and respondent may also be invited to attend a mediation meeting to enable a lawyer and a social worker counsel them and also to warn the abusive party to desist from further acts of domestic violence and ultimately amicably resolve the dispute between them.
5. The parties are made to sign a Memorandum of Understanding undertaking that they shall no longer engage in acts that constitute Domestic Violence.
6. Domestic Violence covers mental / psychological as well as physical abuse.
DIRECTORATE OF CITIZENS� RIGHTS
When a report of Sexual Violence is received:
• The personal details of the complainant and the respondent are obtained for record and official purposes.
• The complainant/victim of sexual abuse is referred to the nearest police station in company of a Social Worker to investigate the matter as well as obtain a medical form for treatment in a government hospital in order to ascertain the extent of the abuse.
• The matter is charged to the Family court by the police upon effecting the arrest of the perpetrator and an order of court is sought to remove the complainant from the place of abuse and put in a protective home. However in the case of a minor or under-aged children:
• Once a report of sexual abuse is received, there shall be an immediate rescue of the minor/victim from the place of abuse.
• The personal details of the minor and the perpetrator of the sexual abuse are obtained for record and official purposes.
• The minor/victim of sexual abuse is referred to the nearest police station in company of a Social Worker to incident the matter as well as obtain a medical form for treatment in a government hospital in order to ascertain the extent of the abuse.
• The matter is charged to the Family court by the police upon effecting the arrest of the perpetrator and he/she would be remanded in prison custody pending the duration of his/her trial or fulfilment of his bail conditions. Where the minor/victim is abused in the place where he/she resides, it is advised that such minor/victim be put in an approved shelter or with a trusted relative for care and protective custody pending the duration of the trial in court.
OFFICE OF YOUTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Child abuse/Gender based Violence reported to the Social Welfare Office located in the Local Government./LCDA's in Lagos State is handled as follows:
a. The Victim/Parents/Guardian is interviewed in order to illicit the basic facts.
b. They are thereafter referred to the Police station so as to report the case, since it is a criminal offence.
c. The FSU in the Police station issues a referral letter to the nearest General hospital for medical examination, treatment, counselling of the victim.
d. The Offender is arrested for questioning while the victim is placed in a State Government facility for shelter if necessary.
e. If sufficient evidence is levied against the defendant, OYSD is instrumental in ensuring that the offender is then charged to court
f. The Social worker holds watching brief in court while the case is on and offers continuous counselling of the victim/family.
DIRECTORATE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS (DPP)
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is primarily saddled with the responsibility of issuing legal advice and prosecution of cases in courts.
The Office of the DPP receives the duplicate case files in respect of domestic and sexual violence from the police after due investigation might have been concluded for the purpose of issuing legal advice.
The purpose of the legal advice is to establish whether upon the available evidence in the duplicate case file, a case is made out against the Suspect(s).
Due to the complex nature and legal requirements of rape and defilement cases particularly with regards to corroboration of the evidence of the victim, the Office of the DPP emphasizes production of:
a. Medical report based on timeous examination of the victim of sexual violence so that necessary evidence can be preserved.
b. Evidence taken in respect of where and when the incident happened and by whom.
c. Other independent evidence that would show or convincingly link the Suspect which are verifiable and not based on assumption, to assist in proving a case such as whether the Suspect made a confessional statement or whether there are eye witnesses e.t.c. After the investigation by the police station of first instance, there should be no delay in the forwarding of the duplicate case file on cases of domestic and sexual violence to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for immediate issuance of legal advice.
CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS
It is important for citizens to know that the Law protects them against Domestic and Sexual Violence and seeks to prosecute offenders. As such, Civil Society Organizations can provide a range of services to promote citizens� understanding on the provisions of the Law by:
• Providing direct referral information to the Mirabel Centre/Treatment Centre
• Providing legal aid services for victims or referring them to the appropriate government agencies
• Raising public awareness on the provisions of the law
• Communicating information to service providers, religious institutions, government agencies and lawmakers
• Supporting mobilization strategies especially at the community level geared towards preventing violence
• Strengthening the capacity of government agencies to implement the law including strengthening the referral system
• Scaling-up government initiatives to ensure that impact is felt especially at the grassroots
• Supporting government to gather, analyse and use data and evidence on domestic and sexual violence
STEPS FOR CSOs TO RESPOND TO INITIAL SEXUAL ASSAULT DISCLOSURES AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
A. Specific Steps to Follow
Step 1: A rape, sexual assault or domestic violence is reported.
A person or representative may contact an NGO/CSO to seek information, support, or counselling following rape, sexual assault or domestic violence. When this contact has been made, the staff at the reception desk will get the details of the person (name, phone number, address, situation) and arrange an immediate appointment with Organisation counsellor or Officer. If an immediate appointment is unavailable with the counsellor, the receptionist will direct to the Organisation Executive Director who will provide immediate assistance until a counsellor can be assigned to provide on-going assistance.
If the victim is a minor a, direct referral will be made to MIRABEL CENTER
Step 2: The need for medical attention is discussed. Medical attention for sexual assault victims is vital for detecting and treating a range of medical concerns, including sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and apparent and internal injuries.
• When an assault has occurred within 72 hours of disclosure, it is essential that the victim be aware of the option for emergency medical care and/or collection of evidence (to assist in the judicial process), prophylactic check for STIs and the prevention of pregnancy resulting from the assault. The Counselor will determine if the victim wishes to receive assistance.
• If YES, NGO/CSO Counselor will call the MIRABEL CENTER to transport the victim to the Treatment Center.
Step 3: Follow-up emergency care is provided.
• If a victim chooses to be transported to the hospital for medical treatment, NGO/CSO will dispatch a Staff to an agreed-upon location to be present with the victim until available transport is provided from the Mirabel Centre and he/she is transported to the Treatment Centre or Hospital Emergency Centre. We try to ensure that the Staff dispatched to the victim has received training on how to respond sensitively to victim needs. At the location while waiting for transportation, Staff will inform or determine
• if the victim prefers to be accompanied by a female officer,
• will inform victims of their rights to have a friend/family member accompany them to the hospital if available.
• Will provide Information on how to notify police if Victim wishes to
• If NO (victim not willing, prefers to arrange own transportation, or has already received medical treatment) information regarding important counselling and non-emergency medical care is provided especially When an assault has occurred after 72 hours of disclosure.
Step 4: The need for emergency psychological intervention is determined.
• Victim is informed of the importance of psychological counselling and encouraged to seek same or assistance at the Mirabel Centre
• If an individual needs or requests assistance for that NGO/CSO Counsellor will refer the individual directly to Mirabel Centre for Counselling and Psychological Services.
• If immediate intervention appears necessary (due to extreme distress or concerns raised about the individual�s safety or the safety of others, including suicide threats and difficulty controlling anger) we will seek to contact the identified police stations (Adeniji Adele, Ilupeju or Isokoko) nearest to the victim
• If immediate assistance is not needed or requested, a NGO/CSO counsellor can assist in coordinating services or providing printed referral information.
DO NOT KEEP SILENT, GET HELP, REPORT THE CRIME. LET�S ENSURE THAT THE FULL WRATH OF THE LAW IS UNLEASHED ON PERPETRATORS OF THESE HEINOUS CRIMES!!!!