Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has on Monday said it has launched an electronic channel, “TIMBY” a platform for reporting cases of sexual exploitation and where victims could pursue psychological support and redress.
This was made known by the Executive Director, CISLAC and Transparency International, in Nigeria, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) in Abuja during a sensitization For Tertiary Institutions In Abuja on sexual exploitation in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, , said the crime is mostly committed by high profile individuals in the schools.
The organisation attributed it to the absence of justice for victims of the crime.
CISLAC said that the refusal of victims to speak out due to perceived distrust in the University system was also aiding the menace.
Rafsanjani, while lamenting increasing cases of girls and women being extorted when requesting basic services such as medication, positions or good grades at Schools or universities, he observed that many students are not aware of their fundamental rights, noting that as such, they cannot tell when it is violated or know where to go seeking redress.
According to him, “The fear of stigmatization by society which is very common and the fact that perpetrators are mostly high profile individuals who are either lecturers or non-academic staff who have some level of influence or power within the institution and the society makes a lot of victims reluctant to report or speak out.
“There is distrust for the system, they are unsure if they will get justice or the necessary redress.”
Rafsanjani stressed the need for all Nigerians especially victims of sexual exploitation to understand their rights and also speak out.
The CISLAC boss urged school management, anti-corruption agencies and other relevant institutions of government to exhibit transparency and integrity towards putting mechanisms in place for addressing the issue.
On her part, during her presentation, Olubunmi Olugasa, S.A legal to ICPC Chairman, said the Commission is trying to inform the public in order to explain what exactly amount to sexual exploration, and to also inform the public that ICPC is ready to tackle it as empowered under it’s mandate, hoping that existing partnership will continue to be mutually beneficial so that as the report are received, investigated and prosecuted according to it’s mandate.
According to CISLAC Legal Officer, Bathsheba Tagwai, noted that the stereotype by society that females are the only victims of sextortion should be reconsidered, noting that there are situations even though not so prevalent where males have been victims.
According to Transparency International, Sextortion happens where people are coerced into paying bribe with sexual act rather than money. In other words, is called Sexual Exploitation.
Some students of various tertiary institutions across Abuja were brought to be enlightened and be educated on the issue of sexual exploitation (Sextortion) in tertiary institutions in Nigeria from the anti- corruption perspective, however, they were encouraged to speak out, seek redress and psychological support.