Reprieve is on the offing for rape victims in Imo as the government plans to provide free legal services for them to obtain justice and achieve closure.
The state governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma who announced the gesture in Abuja, also promised to ensure that the victims are saved from further trauma through stigmatization by society.
The governor spoke when he received triple awards of excellence from the Federation of West African Freelance Journalist Association and Anti Rape Campaigners.
The awards are: The Governor of the Year 2020: International Anti Rape Ambassador; and Infrastructural Development Governor of the year 2020. The state commissioner for information and strategy, Chief Declan Emelumba received the awards on his behalf.
Senator Uzodinma disclosed that the government will soon forward an executive bill to the state house of Assembly to make it a law to provide free legal services for rape victims.
Regretting that one of the major drawbacks for rape victims in their quest for justice was stigmatization, the governor hoped that the free legal services will encourage them to overcome that fear.
He directed both the Ministry of Justice and the ministry of women affairs to collaborate and come out with feasible strategies that will help rape victims to get justice and their abuses commensurate punishment.
He said it was the desire of his administration to protect women from human predators and gender-based violence, insisting that society must preserve the age old value of respect for women.
The governor however expressed application to the group for the awards, saying that he was deeply encouraged by the gesture.
According to him, the awards were a manifestation of the appreciation of the job he was doing in Imo since his assumption of office eleven months ago.
Senator Schumer said the awards will motivate him to work harder to the benefit of imo people and Nigerians generally.