With an alarming increase in the rate of rape, sexual and domestic violence cases due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Women at Risk International Organization (WARIF); a non-profit that supports survivors of rape and sexual violence has been on the frontlines providing care to these survivors.
Following the lockdown issued by the Federal and State Governments; a spike in the cases of rape and sexual violence was occurring as organizations, individuals and families became mandated to implement social distancing and self-isolation, leaving many survivors quarantined with their abusers for extended periods of time.
WARIF, in response to this issue found to be even more prevalent in the rural areas in Nigeria launched the Covid-19 Response in Rural Communities. The initiative aims to address these issues of gender-based violence in the more rural areas and enlighten citizens on the dangers of sexual violence, enquire about the well-being of girls and women in the communities possibly trapped at home with their abusers, with door to door visits, as well as provide information on the free and available services offered by WARIF with immediate medical care, forensic examinations, psycho-social counseling, legal aid and access to shelters, at the WARIF Rape Crisis Centre.
In support of this impactful initiative, MAC Cosmetics, with its “Viva Glam” campaign has partnered with WARIF through a grant to implement the initiative. The long-standing campaign has dedicated $10 million USD towards 250 organizations all over the world that are on the front lines helping people at higher risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the partnership, John Demsey, Chairman of the MAC Viva Glam Fund and Executive Group President, Estée Lauder Companies Inc. stated that “VIVA GLAM has never been about one cause, but about support to vulnerable communities. It was created many years ago simply as a hardship fund for people who needed safety nets. To leverage this 100% giving model to help people affected by COVID-19 is a continuation of the principles VIVA GLAM was founded on.”
Founder of WARIF, Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru reassures the public that WARIF is positioning itself to provide the necessary assistance to survivors, especially in rural areas, as the novel COVID-19 virus continues to spread across communities in the country. She states “We anticipated an increase in the cases of violence against women and children by abusers during this shadow pandemic and so we felt it was necessary to create awareness of these issues as well as provide the necessary assistance in tackling the problem, especially in the rural areas in Nigeria where services are not readily available. We are thankful to the MAC Viva Glam Campaign for their support and will continue to do all that we can to ensure that women and girls can live in a society free from rape and sexual violence”.
Please call our 24-hour Confidential Hotline on +234 809 2100009; if help is needed.
About VIVA GLAM
M·A·C Cosmetics’ charitable campaign, VIVA GLAM, has raised over $500 million USD since its inception in 1994, exclusively through the sale of M·A·C VIVA GLAM lip products. Combining glamour with a rigorous funding approach, M·A·C Cosmetics has worked with provocative powerhouse talent, including Winnie Harlow, Sia, Miley Cyrus, Elton John, Mary J. Blige and Ricky Martin to drive sales of VIVA GLAM lip products, with 100% of sales supporting healthy futures and equal rights for women, girls, and the LGBTQ+ communities while maintaining its decades-long support for those living with HIV/AIDS. To date, the sale of VIVA GLAM products has funded more than 1,800 organizations around the globe
Women at Risk International Foundation, (WARIF) is a non-profit organization, established to raise awareness and address the prevalence of rape, sexual violence and trafficking of young girls and women in communities across Nigeria. This the foundation achieves through the development and implementation of a series of initiatives which are impactful, measurable and sustainable, targeting both the intervention/treatment of these affected women, as well as providing preventive measures to reduce the high incidence. The foundation seeks to re-dress the adverse effects seen because of Gender-Based Violence.