An Enugu based Non-Governmental Organisation, TAMAR Sexual Assault Referral Centre, says 75 per cent of rape cases recorded in the state are perpetrated by people known to victims.

The Coordinator of the centre, Mrs Nkechi Nwabueze, made the statement in Enugu on Wednesday at media roundtable.

She said out of the 320 cases treated by the centre, 241 persons knew the perpetrators, while 79 did not.

The coordinator said that out of the known cases, 35 were carried out by family members with children under the age of 10 mostly

“Most of the victims were raped by one perpetrator while some were victims of gang rape.

“From our record, 243 victims of the reported cases were raped by one person each, 72 were gang raped. while four victims could not remember the number of perpetrators,’’ she said.

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Nwabueze said that the cases were reported between April 2014 and August 2015.

She expressed regret that cases of rape were on the increase in and around the state.

The coordinator said that 27 perpetrators had been charged to court and in one of such cases a man was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.

She said it was regrettable that less than nine per cent of such cases were reported.

Nwabueze called for collaboration between the centre and the media to expose masterminds of the crime, which she said was taking root in the society.

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She appealed to the media to always follow up cases from the centre in order to secure justice for victims and expose the danger rape posed to the survival of the society.

The coordinator said although the centre had been in the vanguard of the campaign against rape, it faced stiff challenges that seemed to have diminished its successes.

“We have insufficient funds and limited staff to continue public sensitisation through jingles and field work in local communities,” Nwabueze said.

A representative of the Partnership for Transformation of Health System II (PATH 2), Mr George Eki, said there was a need for victims to break the culture of silence and report cases in order to punish the offenders.

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Eki called on the media to sensitise the people on their rights so as to be in a better position to fight the crime.

He said that it was necessary for parents and guardians of victims to rally behind their wards to deal with the trauma associated with rape.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the end of the roundtable, a media coalition on sexual abuse in Enugu State was formed.

TAMAR Sexual Assault Referral Centre is a joint initiative of Women’s Aid Collective in partnership with Enugu State Government. (NAN)