Bill on free, compulsory treatment for victims of sexual abuse passed into law in Akwa Ibom

A Bill on free and compulsory medical treatment as well as care for child victims of sexual abuse in Akwa Ibom State has been passed into law by the State House of Assembly.

The Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs and Deputy Speaker, Princess Felicia Bassey while presenting the report to the house, decried the high rate of sexual abuse against children in the State.

She noted that most times the victims are denied adequate medical attention while some cases are not even reported to necessary authorities.

She said, “the committee recommends that child victims of sexual violence be given free and compulsory medical treatment and a sexual assault referral centre should be set up.”

The committee also recommended that hospitals that fail to report cases of sexual violence or abuse should be fined one million naira.

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The committee further recommended that parents or guardians who fail to report or prevent a hospital from making a report of cases of sexual violence risk three months jail term without an option of a fine.

“Any authority, including Police Officer or Security Agent that stands by and fails to perform his duty under the law, has committed an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of five hundred thousand naira or imprisonment for two years or both.” The committee added.

The House adopted the recommendations of the committee and passed the bill into law after the third reading.

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