The Mirabel Centre marked its 9th anniversary on the 1st of July and our friends at the British High Commission hosted a reception in honour of the centre on the 5th of July, 2022. We are indeed grateful to the British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing and the team for this honour.
Mirabel Centre is Nigeria's first Sexual Assault Referral Centre
A project of Partnership for Justice where rape and sexual assault survivors can access free forensic medical & psychosocial services.
LOTS OF TEENAGERS ARE BEING ABUSED BY PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE PROTECTING THEM.
Managing Partner, Partnership for Justice.
We support Men, women and children who have either recently or in the past experienced rape or sexual assault.
Mirabel Centre Educates and Advocates about sexual violence.
YOUR DONATIONS HELP US PROVIDE FREE MEDICAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT TO SURVIVORS.
For over seven years now, Mirabel Centre has committed to providing critical support to sexual assault survivors at no cost to them. In addition to this, the organization continues to lead advocacy and education of the public about sexual-based violence.
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Queen Elizabeth honours Eze-Anaba with Commonwealth Point of Light award
We share these stories and victories with our dedicated supporters around the world.
Photos from TikTok’s interactive workshop to educate NGOs and CSO on Tiktok’s approach to safety which was held on August 4, 2022.
The workshop was designed to establish collaboration between TikTok and NGOs to address key issues such as Sexual assault, GBV, Misinformation, Mental Health, Self Harm and Suicide and get them familiar with how TikTok works and the in-app safety tools available for users”
The Mirabel Centre is delighted to announce that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has become the Centre’s first patron.
Founded in July 2013 by Itoro Eze-Anaba, the Mirabel Centre is Nigeria’s first Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), providing succor and a safe place to survivors of rape and sexual assault. Survivors who have recently or in the past been sexually assaulted can access free post-incident support services at the Centre. In the last eight years, the Mirabel Centre has provided free medical and psychosocial support services to over 6,450 survivors (including persons with disabilities).
For several years, The Duchess of Cornwall has highlighted the work of domestic abuse and sexual assault charities in the UK and overseas in supporting victims and survivors, with the aim of breaking the taboo around the subject. Her Royal Highness has visited shelters and support centres around the world and in 2020 became Patron of the UK domestic abuse charity SafeLives. Her Royal Highness has attended round table discussions on domestic abuse in Australia in 2015, in New Zealand in 2019, and as part of the Women’s Forum at CHOGM in London in 2018. The Duchess visited Nigeria together with The Prince of Wales in 2018 when her engagements included joining a discussion hosted by the Women of the World Festival (WOW) saying, “Women get together to discuss things that matter to them so I think especially here in Nigeria it is a fantastic place to start.”
“I am delighted to become Patron of the Mirabel Centre in Lagos. It is a truly trailblazing organisation, supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault as they seek healing and justice. Their vital work means that women need no longer suffer in silence and I am deeply grateful to all Mirabel’s wonderful staff and volunteers”. – HRH The Duchess of Cornwall
In a statement, Mirabel Centre founder, Itoro Eze- Anaba, said: “it is an honour to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as our first Patron. We are pleased that the Duchess has agreed to be our patron. We have followed her work with charities working in the sexual and gender-based violence space and have seen how passionate and committed The Duchess is towards providing support for survivors.
“Indeed, this announcement is timely considering the devastating nature of sexual violence and the increased advocacy for survivor support services which has led to an increase in the number of survivors who require the services of the centre. The current COVID-19 pandemic has further revealed the endemic nature of sexual violence. We have seen a huge number of children and women coming forward to report cases of sexual assault and rape. Our youngest survivor is a 3-month-old baby and the oldest, an 80-year-old woman. We are confident that the support of The Duchess will make a difference.”
Speaking also, the UK’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CB said: “I am absolutely delighted that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to become Patron of the Mirabel Centre in Lagos Nigeria. In this role, she will help showcase the essential work the Mirabel Centre does to support sufferers of sexual assault and domestic abuse. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has been a long-standing supporter of women who have suffered from these crimes. Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) is a global epidemic ravaging all levels of society, and one of the most prevalent and devastating human rights violations. It cuts across all social, national, economic boundaries and, sadly, remains largely unreported due to the stigma and shame too often associated with survivors, and the impunity too often enjoyed by the perpetrators.
“The Mirabel Centre is the first of its kind to provide holistic and high quality psychosocial and medical services to these survivors in Nigeria, and this patronage will no doubt help to ensure safe and continued support to sexual assault survivors, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. This will complement the UK Government’s other partnerships in Nigeria to tackle SGBV.”
Located in a modest two-room building within the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in the heart of the city, the Centre is currently expanding its residence to make adequate room to serve survivors of sexual violence promptly.
Rape has become so pervasive in Nigeria that one would be forced to ask: Is there truly justice for victims? Do survivors get the support that they truly deserve?
About a week ago, Mirabel Centre, founder, Itoro Eze Anaba received a prestigious award from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs; the award was in recognition of her tireless effort in fighting for justice for survivors, and seeking support for women, children and persons with disabilities. Itoro notes that whilst the activities and ceremony were on, her mind drifted to the young girl Ini Umoren who was brutally raped and murdered in Akwa Ibom State a few months ago.
According to Itoro: “As I listened to speech after speech, I kept remembering #justiceforhinyumoren, the young girl who was lured with the promise of a job, raped, murdered and buried in a shallow grave, a few kilometres from where I sat. As I scanned the faces in that large hall, I could not help but reflect on how we collectively failed Ini Umoren. I wondered who heard something, suspected something but kept quiet. I wondered who said something but was told to keep quiet, to mind her business, to forgive, and shuddered at our collective failure as a society to take action, to protect vulnerable ones. The youngest person to receive treatment for sexual abuse at Mirabel Centre is a 3 months old baby and the oldest is 80 years. Think about the number of people within that age bracket. I am safe when you are safe. It really is a collective responsibility.”
Ini’s attack was one of many attacks in the last 18 months. Unilorin undergraduate, Omowumi Olajide was raped and murdered in June 2021; last year, Uniben undergraduate, Uwa was raped and killed in church and Barakat was ganged raped and killed in her home. There are several other cases and the spate at which these crimes happen, can make anyone terrified.
According to Gender Advocate, Soyem Osakwe, rape and gender-based violence continue to go unchecked because: a large part of the society condones it and our laws do not serve as enough deterrent to offenders and others who might want to commit this crime. There is also the problem of she terms, “a long road to justice”. Take the case of 13-year-old Ochanya who was raped by two relatives and died of complications in 2018, the case is still in court and one of the suspects is still at large. In a video account before her demise, Ochanya gave a detailed account of how she had been abused several times by her guardian’s husband and son.
These are only a handful of cases. With the spate of kidnapping of school children in the North West and North Central, there is no telling just how many children have been sexually abused.
That is why we must raise our voices and call for stiffer punishment for rapists; because Rape cannot be our new normal.
Itoro Eze-Anaba was today honoured and recognised by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, as a champion for women, children and persons with disabilities. The award recognises her humanitarian, selfless and outstanding contribution to ending violence against women and children, especially girls, in addition to other laudable initiatives she has embarked on to improve the wellbeing of the Nigerian woman.
While presenting the award, the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, lauded Itoro’s immense contribution to the fight against gender-based-violence in Nigeria.
The award was presented at the 21st National Council for Women Affairs in Uyo. In her acceptance speech, Itoro said:
“It is with great joy that I accept this recognition as a champion for Nigerian women, children and persons with disabilities.
I feel truly honoured to be receiving this recognition at this time. The true heroes, though, are the survivors who continue to inspire us never to give up, but to keep fighting for justice and a society where women, children & persons with disabilities are treated with dignity and protected. It has been a long journey, loaded with learning points and never ending challenges. Through it all, I have remained committed to my pledge to provide the best professional support to survivors of rape and sexual violence who visit the Mirabel and Nana Khadija Centres on a daily basis.
Itoro Eze-Anaba founded the Mirabel Centre, the first Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Nigeria in July 2013; in March 2020, she founded the first One-Stop Centre in North West Nigeria – Nana Khadija Centre, which provides holistic professional services to survivor of gender-based-violence.
Last weekend, the Mirabel Centre, Nigeria’s first sexual assault referral centre was honoured with an award of recognition for humanitarian service by the Nigerian Volunteer Awards.
The Nigerian Volunteers Award, an initiative of Leap Africa commended the Mirabel Centre for selfless service towards humanity and the Nigerian society as part of the #Tribeof2021 in the 5th edition of the annual award.
In her acceptance speech, centre manager for the Mirabel Centre thanked the award organizers for the recognition and pledged that the centre will continue to be a safe haven for survivors of rape and sexual assault. Also representing the centre was programme officer, Alexis Adelu – in her remarks, she spoke about the endemic nature of sexual abuse and thanked Leap Africa for encouraging non-profit workers and volunteers to continue to do more to curb the problem of sexual violence in our society.