Lagos flags off the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness month.

The Lagos State Domestic & Sexual Violence awareness month themed “ITS ON US” was flagged off today with a Media parley at the Bagauda Kaltho Press centre by the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice HAG/CJ Mr Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo SAN to commemorate the September events.

Onigbanjo expressed gratitude to Press Men for a balanced reportage of the Agency’s activities, programs and achievements in the year under review, as the Agency commenced the  commemoration of the awareness month of September with a line-up of programmes and activities depicting the intent for coming years.

The Commissioner while briefing the Press said the year’s theme was specifically picked based on the compelling need to ensure that residents of Lagos realize that ending the menace of Sexual Gender-Based Violence is indeed a collective effort which requires the support and collaboration of all members of society.

He said the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team which metamorphosed into the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency September 2021 was established to guarantee and protect the rights of survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence in Lagos State.

The Agency, he said provides an opportunity for survivors and third parties to report cases of Domestic and Sexual Violence in Lagos State and tackle these cases swiftly with the needed expertise and privacy through the team work of Ministries, Department and partner Agencies, Gender-Based Violence Case Managers, the Police, Non-Governmental Organizations, Psychologists, Rescue team, Social Welfare, Health-care workers and the Judiciary.

He noted that since inception, the Agency has so far received a total of 4860 cases via the Virtual Referral and Response Service (VRRS) and Physical report which includes Domestic Violence, Rape, Lack of Parental care, threat to life, sexual Assault by Penetration, Emotional Abuse, Child Neglect/abandonment, child labor, Sexual Molestation and Non -GBV cases perpetrated against Adults and Children .

Also at the Media parley, the Executive Secretary DSVA, Mrs Lola Vivour Adeniyi intimated the audience of the Agency’s various initiatives; she stressed that the  community interventions by Non-Governmental Organizations and more importantly, the Lagos State Government’s Declaration to Zero tolerance for sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the State, the Agency receives a minimum of 200 clients on a monthly basis.For adults- 93% of survivors were female whilst 7% were Male, whilst for children- 46% of survivors were boys whilst 54% were girls.

She gave a breakdown of the data from September 1st 2021 to July 31st 2022, stating the Agency has handled 4860 cases which are into two categories, Adults & Children.      2029 Domestic Violence,             65 Rape,             40 Sexual Assault, 10 Attempt to commit rape            5 Sexual Assault by penetration,            73 threat to Life            488 Others (Separation, Not taking responsibilities of child(ren), Neglect, custody of the child, Non-GBV, etc.),            113 Child Abuse/Physical Assault,            194 Defilement cases,                       15 Defilement/Molestation by Minor to Minor,          105 Child Labour, Abduction Neglect/Others,         145 Sexual Harassment/Molestation cases. He further highlighted that a total of 1578 children have experienced emotional abuse (i.e these children have been exposed to Domestic Violence within the home). 55% of these children have been taken through counselling programs to ensure they are able to psychologically deal with the events they have witnessed without it having a permanent and negative impact on the children. 

We have also witnessed an increase in reporting of cases from other States; mostly from Ogun, Abia, Anambra and others respectively. In the past 11 Months, a total of 394 cases occurred outside Lagos. Such cases are promptly referred to the relevant agencies in their respective States. The Office of the Public Defender as well as the Lagos Public Interest Law Partnership (LPILP) has provided free legal representation to 110 survivors of Domestic Violence, ranging from Judicial Separation, Divorce, Maintenance, Custody of children and Settlement.   All the survivors of Sexual Assault received medical attention from Comprehensive Primary Health Care Centres, General Hospitals and Sexual Assault Referral Centres like Mirabel Centre, Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) as well as Idera Centre. 

“In the period under review, the Agency has provided services to 9 Persons with Disabilities who were experiencing one form of Gender Based Violence or the other. The youngest child that experienced sexual violence in the year under review was 8 months, whilst the oldest client that experienced domestic violence was a 75 year old woman & 89 year old man.   Vivour-Adeniyi gave indept analysis on comprehensive findings of cases received from adults revealed that 75% reported Domestic Violence, 2% Reported Rape, 0.2% Reported Sexual Assault by Penetration, 1.5% Reported Sexual harrasement,3% Reported Threat to Life 0.3% reported Attempt to commit Rape, 18% reported Non SGBV which includes Separation, lack of parental care, separation.Whilst the analysis of cases received from children revealed that 9% reported defilement, 0.7% reported defilement by minor to minor, 5.3% reported physical Assault/child abuse, 73.3% Emotional Abuse reported, 7% reported Sexual Molestation/harassment, 3.4% reported neglect/child abandonment, 0.3% reported child labour and 1% reported for Other Non-GBV incidents respectively. 

 Out of the 20 Local Government Areas in Lagos State, the top 5 highest LGA of highest reporting for adults cases, include Alimosho, Ikorodu, Kosofe, Eti-Osa and Oshodi Isolo, whilst for cases involving children, we have recorded high reporting from Alimosho, Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Ikorodu, and Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Areas

 These findings have now informed the Agency’s collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs with a view to introducing compulsory pre-marital effectiveness preparatory counselling for intending couples in other to tackle the issues of domestic violence before the marriage.  A curriculum has also been developed to marriage registrars to pass on to intending couples.

 Onigbanjo said activities are usually earmarked to commemorate the Month. He said this year’s activities for the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month include *TURN ALAUSA PURPLE/ADVOCACY WALK- ITS ON US TO END SGBV an Advocacy walks against Domestic and Sexual Violence proposed for the 1st of September. Public servants are encouraged to wear a touch of purple, in solidarity with.

*Market Fiesta “MEN WEY SABI”, Market fiesta is to contribute towards breaking gender stereotypes which directly and indirectly encourages the perpetration of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.  An initiative to educate individuals on gender roles which are social constructs.

* SYMPOSIUM (TALES OF SURVIVORS)The theme for the symposium is ‘A Tale of Survivors’. In attendance, will be survivors, stakeholders and policy makers.

  * SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION DAY Children would not be left out, as the Safeguarding and Child Protection Day would witness the gathering of over 400 students, debate on the topic- Social Media Promotes Sexual and Gender Based Violence.

*DSVA AWARDS/ COMMENDATION NIGHT a Mr. Governor’s Commendation / Awards to celebrate officers, institutions and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence  categories of persons would be recognized and appreciated: – Best Family Support Unit (FSU), Police DivisionBest Family Social Services (FSS) UnitMost Responsive Health FacilityBest Non-Governmental Organization for Domestic Violence Best Non-Governmental Organization for Sexual Violence A Mandated Reporter  OVERALL RESULT

 SHe urged the media to partner with the Agency to achieve considerable progress to rid the society of the menace. She urged the public to call the Toll Free number 08000333333 whenever they experience Domestic,   sexual Violence and abuse in any form.

Adejoke Ladenegan Oginni

DSVA

31/8/2022.

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