NAN – The Lagos State Government will soon begin the production of rape kits that will assist in investigating cases of sexual violence in Nigeria, an official has said.
Mrs Omotola Rotimi, the Director, Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Lagos State, said on Wednesday in Lagos, that the rape kit would serve as a key tool in the investigation of rape cases.
According to her, the kit comprises a set of items used by medical personnel for gathering and preserving physical evidence in rape cases.
“With the issue of the rape kit, the Lagos State Government, through the Domestic Violence and Sexual Response Team, is trying to do a rape kit for Nigeria and it is ongoing now.
“And very soon, something is going to be out about that.
“For security agents as well, we also know that the Domestic Violence and Sexual Response Team, that we also trying to have a workshop for security agents on how to treat victims when victims are brought.
“How they can gather evidence; how they can protect evidence and how they can ensure that the evidence, wherever they put it is safe and that the chain of custody is not actually broken.
“The cases of sexual violence or domestic violence and physical abuse is on the increase.
“Could it be because people are now coming out to report cases, or could it be the fact that due to poverty, people are jobless, people are frustrated, therefore, it is just a way of whiling away the time.
“Or could it be shear ignorance on the part of the people that don’t even know that they are actually abusing other people.
“So, there are so many underlining factors, which is a global issue and it really have to be dealt with.`
Rotimi stated that a rape kit consists of small boxes, microscope slides and plastic bags for collecting and storing evidence such as clothing, fibers, hairs, saliva, semen or body fluid.
According to her, these evidences can help to identify the assailant and provide evidence supporting prosecution in a criminal trial.