Media Concern Initiative works with two major themes. They are Prevention and Crisis Response. All we do incorporate to the best of our abilities both themes.
The objective of this strategy is to prevent and reduce vulnerability and exposure to sexual violence among the populace especially women and children. This includes awareness campaings, publication of culture specific print and electronic materials, research, resource center, capacity building targeted at children, adolescents, parents, care givers, first responders law enforcement officers, social welfare, judiciary, teachers, guidance counselors,' etc. In addition, we carry out continuous advocacy to the government and other stakeholder's for policy implementation and review of response to sexual violence.
The Crisis Response Center is a landmark of our work which provides emergency and crisis intervention to victims of sexual violence and their families. The center manages 24 hour confidential helplines, has Victim Advocates who ensure that the victims and their families get optimum care right from the moment of reporting and their human rights protected during investigation, litigation working in partnership with professionals in the criminal justice sector and other relevant stakeholders. The Center facilitates access to emergency contraceptives to guard against unwanted pregnancy, prophylactics against Hepatitis B and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and access to other medical treatment. Also the Center offers HIV Counseling and Testing and provides Post Emergency Prophylaxis (PEP) a combination of Anti Retro-viral drugs that prevents HIV infection when accessed within 72 hours of exposure through sexual violence. Also, the center offers mental health / stress assessment and treatment, trauma manageable counseling & therapy as well as psychosocial support. The center is involved in capacity building of partners and related stakeholders. In addition, its in the fore on advocacy for a sustainable response.
MediaCon runs a sexual violence resource center, where different organizations or individuals can access materials on sexual violence. The Sexual Violence Institute is the capacity building arm of the organization and runs under the Center.
MediaCon carries out advocacy around sexual violence response and in partnerships with other colleagues and various stakeholders for policy implementation, reforms in law, amendments in policies and laws and on demand.
We keep responding to the need to fill the skills gap of different stakeholders in sexual violence such as: children, parents, care-givers, law enforcement officers, social welfare, judiciary, policy makers and the media. MediaCon has trained law enforcement officers - The Police, Judiciary, Social Welfare Officers, Policy Makers, Market Community, Students, Children, Care givers, Religious leaders the media and individuals on sexual violence.
To date we have under different projects organized capacity building workshops.
In 2003, we began to convene monthly media forum, as part of our objectives to provide information, promote dialogue and informed discourse on issues of child sexual abuse, other forms of sexual violence and its multi dimensional issues.
Our media Forum is providing easy access to the media by activists and NGOs as well as provide a forum for journalists to update themselves on current issues on the Silent epidemic.
Past topics discussed include:
1. Breaking the Silence: Survivors share their sexual violence experience - the aftermaths they suffered and how they eventually overcame the experience.
2. Sexual Abuse in Nigeria: The Position of The Law, Its Enforcement and Challenges
3. The Role of the Society in Preventing and Handling Sexual Abuses.
4. Developing Societal Sensitivity to Gender Based Sexual Violence in Nigeria
Since 2004, we have been monitoring print and online media reports on sexual violence.
We opened a first ever first-ever resource centre dedicated to providing information on sexual violence prevention, response and related issues for researchers, media, and general public and have recently moved the center online.
On November 19, the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse in the year 2005, we instituted first edition of our annual Yellow Ribbon Awards to inspire and appreciate activism and demonstration of outstanding commitment on sexual Violence. Awards are given in up to 8 categories to encourage communities and excellence in related reporting, and also honour individuals and organizations within and outside the media that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to prevention and care of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. The awards ceremony will be held around November 19 every year as part of activities marking World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse.
Programmes under this heading are targeted at children with children's involvement in design, implementation and management. One of such is the just concluded Children's Educational Resources on Prevention & Response to Sexual Abuse - 'MORE ABOUT ME' The production of this educational resource on Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse is a targeted at children and aims to educate children by creating awareness on Child Sexual Abuse, its prevention and response. The Children's Monologues is another project giving children the space to express their concerns, fears, triumphs and exploits. Children are using this medium to articulate these apprehensions through creativity - from interviewing to writing and final acting and staging of the monologues, children are in the lead. Peer Educators (PEs) trainings has held for over 300 from 10 schools. Adobe Youth Voices project trained over 70 secondary students on how to use Adobe softwares to express and bring visibility to their voices on social issues that affected them.
The market environment exposes women and children to a number of vulnerability to different forms of violence, especially sexual violence. The market place places a huge demand on parents whose preoccupation limits them to these environment. Child Labour, poverty is among the problems that predisposes children and women to sexual abuse, rape and other form of abuses. Over 90% of participants acknowledged that they need to be empowered.
The peer educator training workshops is a continuation of the awareness & sensitization project and a mechanism to build capacity of the community to take over ownership and control. It is a model that can be duplicated in Nigeria and other interested location