16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.

For decades, individuals and communities have grappled with issues of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, the resultant impact in most cases is devastating to the victim.

Often, the victims are helpless while perpetrators walk freely without being held accountable for their actions.

This led to the establishment of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) in September 2014, recently metamorphosed into the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), to provide a coordinated & holistic response to Sexual, Domestic and Gender-Based Violence issues within Lagos State.

The Agency provides an opportunity for survivors and third parties to report cases of Domestic and Sexual Violence in Lagos State and these reported cases are tackled swiftly 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.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

The global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which will run from 25 November to 10 December 2022, is UNITE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls.

At the DSVA, we believe that preventive measures are the most efficient ways of addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) issues. To this end, we embark on several advocacy programs, which aims at reducing SGBV to at least a barest minimum.

The Agency will be leveraging on the global annual 16 days of activism for the elimination of violence against women, to heighten awareness on the issues of Gender-Based Violence in the state through several community engagement programs.

Our objectives are;

  1. To increase awareness on the prevalence of Gender-Based violence
  2. To enhanced knowledge on referrals to responder agency (ies) upon receipt of complaint.
  3. To increase knowledge about support services available
  4. To debunk myths associated with SGBV
  5. To stimulate a collective responsibility in the fight to eradicate Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
  • To encourage mandatory reporting

IN DEMONSTRATION OF POLITICAL WILL TO PREVENT AND RESPOND TO SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE, HERE ARE SOME OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS:

  1. In demonstration of political will, established a statutory agency- Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, the first of its kind in Nigeria, to ensure coordination of response  
  2. Now able to provide access to FREE 24/7 services , via the toll-free line  (08000 333 333) to survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
  3. Increased budgetary allocation to prevent and respond to incidents of SGBV
  4. Improved capacity of service providers; doctors , lawyers , social workers police,  judges, medical health workers on responding to sexual and gender piece violence 
  5. Secured shelter for survivors of domestic violence 
  6. Secured land allocation for development of purpose-built shelters across the divisions in Lagos state 
  7. Improved sensitization and awareness of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence through door-to-door community engagements 
  8. Established a team of focal persons in the community, to ensure decentralisation of services and survivors are able to access quick response from the comfort of their local communities. 
  9. Established the Domestic and Sexual Violence Trust Fund and commenced disbursement of seed grants to over 200 high risk survivors of domestic and sexual violence for business, relocation, medical and education.
  10. Launched the Lagos State sexual intervention fund to provide access to free medical services for survivors including medical attention post trauma 
  11. Under Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s Administration, provided holistic services (psychosocial, legal, medical, empowerment, rescue services ) to over 14,000 survivors  of domestic and sexual violence
  12. Commenced publication of details of sex convicts to serve as a deterrent to sex offenders and  activated Sex Offenders Register to serve as background checks for intake team employees especially employees that have interface with children 
  13. Increased number of Family Support Units (designated police stations) from 7 to 22 Family Support Units, to provide services.
  14. Concerted effort in ensuring the mental health of survivors of sexual violence by having a dedicated team of professionals (psychologists and psychiatrist) to provide access to free mental health services to over 500 survivors. 
  15. Established a one stop shop centre to provide access to free medical, legal, psychosocial, and empowerment services and also alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for survivors under one roof
  16. Secured  over 10 restraining orders against abusive spouses
  17. Facilitated mainstreaming of response to SGBV into the Lagos State public health sector 
  18. Over 1000 female secondary school students have been inducted into the Queens

Club across the State (Introduction of curriculum into the education sector on

SGBV, femininity, grit, resilience, transitioning from girl to woman)

  1. Over 1300 secondary school boys have been inducted into the Kings Club, to promote positive masculinity 
  2. Over 15,000 students have been proactively engaged on preventing SGBV and steps to take to report, break the culture of silence
  3. Over 3,000 principals and owners of schools and 14,000 educators have been trained on Safeguarding and child protection
  4. Secured over 200 convictions, and recorded a 60% increase in number, in cases of domestic and sexual violence charges to court, thereby increasing and ensuring perpetrator’s accountability 
  5. Renewed concerted effort to empower women through skills acquisition programs of the Ministry of Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation
  6. Increase number of Family Social Services in the local governments to provide family intervention under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development 

All made possible with the support of the State and off course, the efforts of other responder agencies working towards ensuring a safe and secured state, free from all forms of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

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