IMPORTANCE OF SYSTEM BASED SUPPORT
Pro bono legal service with serious governmental support is an innovative initiative that can address the silent groaning and sighing of the masses, the Lawyer said that accessing aid without fear for fee should be considered for the poor. Sometime it costs nothing but support from relevant authority, inasmuch as the laws are adequate, the implementation is in the hands of the government of the day, in the long run the Judiciary is not free absolutely independent, when we remember “my hands are tied” and buying the conscience.
The work of societal reformation must not be left for Non Governmental Organization alone; too much idle time in the hand of a leader is tantamount to scheming stealing strategies. Involvement of responsive government should be a top priority, while swift proceedings to encourage reporting of sexual assault cases follow, though new beginning for developing world, we bear in our minds that bricks mould with saliva will be demolished by ordinary morning dew.
The perception of the rich towards the poor makes it mandatory for the government to establish a system based response to indigents, equality before the law is in paper, the conscience can be bought and most Judges hand are tied when it comes to judging influential people, an adage says, “during the roll call of corpses, poor men/women should be the first to fall on the line” support for indigent people should be effectively handled by the government
In March 2009 at Botanical Garden Magistrate Court, Oyingbo Lagos, as a Victim advocate, I handled a case involving an eight year old girl that was raped severally by two men, she was examined and subsequently medication was prescribed by a Doctor who later on refused to witness in court and told the mother to strike out the case. A pro bono lawyer advised that I send a petition to the commissioner of Justice, this done within seven working days, the reply came from the commissioner of health not Justice again, the response; “meet the doctor in court”.
Surprisingly, the doctor was in the court before anyone involved in the case, but in company of another pro bono lawyer in an official government vehicle, when the doctor met us, his first statement was, “ah! Do you want to remove meal from the mouth of my wife and children? I answered “no only to remove obstacle from the future of an eight year old girl”
Sex Education for the public should also be included in government agenda, create section for responding to sexual assault cases in Divisional Headquarters manned by trained police officers, be available to accompany victim to hospitals. Sexual Assault Response Team should not be alien any longer. Government should completely take over cases of child sexual abuse, every child belongs to the State, assailant bribe will have no effect since poverty renders most parents vulnerable.
This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future, which is providing rigorous web 2.0 and new media training for 31 emerging women leaders. We are speaking out for social change from some of the most forgotten corners of the world. Meet Us.