In the fight against sexual abuse and gender-based violence the Imo State first lady, Barr. (Mrs.) Chioma Uzodimma has opened the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Owerri named “The Deborah House”.
The center was opened on Friday 25th as part of the 16 days (November 25 – December 10 2022) of activism against gender-based violence campaign globally.
In her address, the Imo First Lady stated that “The Deborah House” would be a one-stop project that prioritizes the needs and rights of sexual assault survivors.
She highlighted the activities of the center to include screening and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, treatment and care for young sex abuse victims, and psychological services by way of counselling support.
Other activities include: provision of legal services to victims, provision of shelter, general rehabilitation services as well as availing victims of information and education.
She disclosed that 36 First Ladies of the federation have collectively taken up the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) in the country, and through their efforts, have adopted policies like GBV mitigation action plan, GBV coordinating mechanism on implementation of violence against person prohibition Act, GBV survivors funds, among others.
Mrs Uzodimma expressed gratitude to the wife of the former Governor of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, who, she said, attracted support from MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Access Bank, Procter and Gamble among other sources, using the NIGWF.
On the new Centre, Mrs. Uzodimma said plans are in the works by her office engage doctors, nurses, psychologists and lawyers who would provide medical and legal services to the victims.
She also implored the support of religious groups, Civil Society Organisations, volunteers and the general public to rid the society of ills plaguing it which is in sync with Governor Hope Uzodimma’s 3R mantra administration that includes safeguarding the most vulnerable citizens of Imo.