The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme, an NGO, has provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) in 11 states.

Mrs Lauratu Abdulsalam, the Communication and Media Engagement Adviser, RoLAC, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

She said the organisation was funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the British Council.

She listed the benefiting states as Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Niger, Sokoto and Yobe.

Abdulsalam said the equipment was also donated to other service providers working in the area of sexual and gender-based violence, including selected Family Support Units (FSUs) in Police stations.

Other places, she said, were the Police Clinic Abuja, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Sexual and Gender Based Violence Response Teams.

“The PPE distributed to these beneficiaries are hand gloves, hand sanitiser, surgical face masks, disinfectants and disposal aprons, among others.

“The support also covers provision of telephone airtime to enable the SARCs offer telephone counselling and follow up with victims of sexual assault,’’ she said.

Abdulsalam said that the aim of the intervention, according to Mr Danladi Plang, the National Programme Manager of RoLAC, was to ensure sustained service delivery to victims of sexual assault during the COVID-19 breakout.

She said that the current prevalence of COVID-19 had led to increase in cases of sexual and domestic violence.

According to her, service providers such as SARCs established by the British Council with support from the EU to provide support services including medical assistance, counselling and initial legal assistance to victims of sexual assault.

She said that according to experts, gender inequalities and violence against women and other vulnerable groups tend to increase during any type of crises or emergency situation.