“The women, children, and probable men will enter this clinic as a victim, they will however leave as survivors because The Moremi Clinic exists to provide a full range of support to those who have experienced various forms of sexual assault”– Her Excellency, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi
One of the prevalent factors making it difficult for victims of sexual and gender-based violence to get the healthcare and justice they need is the economic factor. Most victims of sexual and gender-based violence are unable to afford hospitals that are specialized enough to take cognizance of their situation, cater to them and work closely with the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.
In her constant effort to fight and promote care for victims of sexual and gender-based violence, Her Excellency Mrs. Bisi Fayemi of Ekiti State understands that the health sector plays a crucial role in the physical and psychological well-being of the victims and has inaugurated two more sexual assault clinic to make a total of three clinics in Ekiti state in less than two years. This free survivor-centered facility is called The Moremi Clinic, it is fully equipped with a rapid response team, legal team, medical team, police team, community outreach team, and a counseling team to provide a proper aid structure to victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
This is huge progress for survivors in Ekiti state as diligent documentation helps to create accurate data collation to show the epidemic rate at which sexual and gender-based violence is growing in the various states in Nigeria. It is also important as proper medico-legal documentation is a means to bridge the gap between victims and justice. Victims no longer have to bear the burden of the financial aspects of pursuing legal action against their assaulters.
“The women, children, and probably men will enter this clinic as a victim, they will however leave as survivors because The Moremi Clinic exists to provide a full range of support to those who have experienced various forms of sexual assault”, Mrs. Bisi said in response to why she set up the clinic. Understanding that victim care is a priority is such a huge leap from where the fight against sexual and gender-based violence began.
Over the years Her Excellency has restated her zero tolerance and full commitment to the fight against sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria. She fought alongside the ministry of women affairs and other agencies for the signing of the prohibition of sexual and gender-based violence bill into law, this made Ekiti State the first state in Nigeria to pass such a law that sought to protect the rights of both men and women against physical and psychological abuse and violence. The law was also fully cognizant of harmful traditional practices, like female genital mutilation, harmful widowhood rights, the imposition of a dress code under any guise, child marriage, and criminalizing pregnancy outside marriage.
Mrs. Erelu Fayemi is among the few who have recognized and sensitized against SGBV and its impact on people with disabilities. She has spared no effort to ensure social justice and the full empowerment of these women through healthcare and economic empowerment. We hope that other states emulate this progressive step to address the many problems and limitations of sexual and gender-based violence victims.