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A lot has bedevilled the Girl Child in Africa; one of such monsters is the issue of rape and sexual assaults made on women. Though there are a lot of campaigns that are on-going on the subject matter, there are just very few notable ones that are causing the effects of a rolling stone. One of such is the campaign carried out by Itoro Eze-Anaba; a woman who has practised law for over 25 years and has been actively involved in the promotion and protection of women’s rights in Nigeria.

The Mirabel Centre: A Seed, A Dream, A Reality.

Global Citizen

Itoro Eze-Anaba created the Mirabel centre, a rape referral centre in Nigeria, which is intended to provide free medical and psychosocial support to survivors of rape and sexual assault.  The idea to engage in such a lofty cause was a function of a little girl’s story in 2000. The Mirabel Centre has evolved into a key service provider for victims of sexual assault in Nigeria, especially in Lagos State. This is evidenced by the increasing number of clients accessing the centre; indicating a growing awareness amongst members of the public of the existence of the centre and the crucial services it provides. The Mirabel Centre is a project of Partnership for Justice where rape and sexual assault victims can access free forensic medical and counselling services. It draws its blueprint from the St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in the United Kingdom; a place where survivors could receive professional and timely support to overcome the trauma of rape and sexual assault.

The reality of the Mirabel centre is largely attributed to funding from the British Council, which provided the funding to establish the medical and psychosocial support Centre. Without this support, it would have been really difficult to establish the centre in 2013. The impact of this funding has been massive; as of December 2017, the centre had provided services to over 3100 clients from different parts of Lagos State.

Itoro: Changing the Narratives

What else makes her our hero? The fact that besides the giant strides she is making in the rape and sexual assaults cases, she drafted the first-ever Domestic Violence Bill in Nigeria and engaged in the advocacy campaign for its passage into law in 12 states and at the National Assembly. Itoro Eze-Anaba’s impact has gone global. It drew the attention of The Queen of England, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who honoured the founder of The Mirabel Centre, a non-governmental organisation, with the Commonwealth Point of Light Award. The award was to mark the beginning of a joint effort to uproot the evil that relentlessly battles for the future of so many young women. It was a reiteration of the message; ‘No to Rape’! The evil, degrading and dehumanizing act that steals, maims, strangles and mangles the voiceless, the weak and the hopeless.

The importance of tackling rape and sexual assault cannot be overemphasized. Thanks to Itoro Eze-Anaba and the Mirabel Centre for showing impressive dedication to supporting victims of sexual assault and rape. Thanks to them also for providing a safe haven for over 2,800 survivors of this heinous crime and have encouraged thousands of others to break the silence on rape and seek prosecution of perpetrators, reducing their impunity.


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This article was first published on 3rd July 2019 and updated on June 11th, 2020 at 11:27 am


Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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