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A university lecturer, Prof. Oladimeji Akadiri, expressed sadness over government’s treatment of matters of domestic violence and sexual offences saying that offenders are most times allowed to go unpunished.
Akadiri, a professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Port Harcourt made the disclosure on Saturday at a book launch in Ikeja, Lagos.
The book, written by Mrs Ololade Okedare is titled “Catching Grace”.
Akadiri, who is also a cleric, argued that the Nigerian society should take responsibility for the societal ills and fight off the problems.
Said he: “The way forward is that the society needs to take responsibility for this and start from advocacy.
“The advocacy is to make people understand the importance and the depth of criminality that domestic violence and sexual abuse portend to the victims and the society at large.
“The problem is that because it has not yet appeared as a public criminalised offence, compared to armed robberies and all of that, the society treats these crimes with kid gloves.
“The society is even sometimes sympathetic to the offenders”.
According to the don, it is the victim that becomes forever deprived, not having her dignity and honour restored.
Said Akadri: “There is no compensation that can salvage the loss and the trauma the victim goes through, perhaps for the rest of her life”.
Also speaking, Dr Amos Okedare, a Chief Consultant Family Physician, who was Chairman of the occasion, described the book as `great work’, saying that the subject-matter required a lot of advocacy to stem the tide.
Okedare, a missionary, advised the government to commence advocacies at all levels of education and to treat such issues of rape and sexual violence as plagues.
Also, the author, who writes with the name, Lydia Emmanuel, said that her interactions with a lot of women who had been sexually abused, drew the inspiration for the 180-page book.
Said she: “My dream is to have a rehabilitation centre for this category of people. It is not enough to win the heart of these commercial sex workers, it is also very important to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society.
“Many of them have lost hope, while many of them also need a reason to live and hope for again.
“What I plan with the proceeds from my book, is to be able to build someday a rehabilitation centre where these women can learn skills and get trained that will help them fulfill their dream in life.”
The author noted that the launch was a celebration of a dream come true and a divine assignment, saying that the book centered on a true life experience and was meant to raise hope in many people who were broken-hearted.
The launch featured dance drama and poem renditions on domestic violence and abuse, sharing of real life experiences of sexual abuse and book reading by various readers.
The event also featured a panel discussion on the subject matter, where the culture of silence on rape and sexual violence were