Ezinne Akudo Anyaoha is a Nigerian lawyer and beauty queen. Akudo was born on the 17th May 1990 in Imo State. She’s also an alumni from Federal Government Girls’ College, Owerri, Imo State and Abia State University. Ezinne Akudo Anyaoha was crowned Miss Nigeria in July, 2013.
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Anyaoha: The Rape Crisis Center
Anyaoha has been active in campaigning against sexual violence. In 2015 after being called to bar, she set up a Rape Crisis Centres (RCCs) through her non-governmental organization, The Eight Foundation based in Lagos, Nigeria. Rape Crisis Centres (RCCs) are community-based organizations affiliated with the anti-rape movement that works to help victims of rape, sexual abuse, and sexual violence. Central to a community’s rape response, RCCs provide a number of services, such as victim advocacy, crisis hotlines, community outreach and education programs. As a social movement organizations, they seek to change social beliefs and institutions, particularly in terms of how rape is understood by medical and legal entities and society at large. There is a great deal of diversity in terms of how RCCs are organized, which has implications for their ideological foundations, roles in their communities and the services they offer.
Services Rendered in a Rape Crisis Centres
Each RCC is unique in the range of services it provides to both survivors and the community. Professionals employed by the RCC, many of whom hold an academic degree on women’s studies, psychology, public health, social work, or another relevant discipline, provide these services. Volunteers are also essential to the provision of RCC services and are heavily utilized for a number of essential tasks. Both RCC employees and volunteers are required to undergo a 40-hour training during which they learn a great deal about societal, legal, and cultural aspects of rape. Some of the services rendered include the following:
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- Survivor Services: Crisis hotlines are 24-hour 7-days a week phone lines that are offered by almost every RCC. Rape survivors can call and receive crisis intervention counseling free of charge, which may entail comforting the survivor, dispelling common rape myths, explaining legal and medical options, or providing referrals for other useful resources. Volunteers often serve as crisis counselors for RCCs.
- Counseling services, either short-term or long-term may be provided by RCCs to rape survivors in order to promote their psychological wellbeing in the aftermath of a traumatic event.
- Legal advocates may educate survivors about the legal process, assist them with getting protective orders against their assailant, and accompany survivors to meetings with the prosecutor or to their court date. The criminal justice system can be traumatic for some rape survivors and so legal advocates are present as a source of support. RCCs are generally neutral in terms of encouraging survivors to take legal action against their assailants.
- Medical advocates may educate survivors about forensic medical options and accompany survivors to the hospital to have a sexual assault evidentiary examination.
- Education programs targeting various members of the community is commonplace among RCC activities. RCCs regularly go into schools, faith-based organizations, neighborhood associations, universities, and other places of social gathering to inform people about rape in their community, foster a feminist understanding of rape, dispel common myths about rape, and raise awareness about available services and resources.
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