Lagos DSVA Calls for Gender Equality at Launch of “The Hidden Crime” Project

Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) has today in Alausa Lagos, launched “The Hidden Crime, Violence Against Men Project” to engage men to realize they can be victims or survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence and that there is no shame in their pain.

At the event, which had over 300 men in attendance, Executive Secretary, DSVA, Titilola Vivour- Adeniyi told the men at the event, that they play a most crucial role in the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the state.

She said a recently concluded community engagement in over 10 Local Government Areas revealed the need for  enlightenment, and spotlight on men who are victims or survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

Research conducted in 2016, in partnership with the Nigerian Prisons Service as they were referred to then, where it was revealed that out of the 140 sex convicts, 80.5% of them revealed that they were sexually abused at an early age, some as young as 6 years old and as such were exposed to unhealthy sexual relationships. Majority of them did not receive psycho-social support and as such they began abusing others, thereby revealing the abused-abuser trend

Launching the project,  Executive Secretary, stated that the aim was to ensure that the agency leave no gender behind in its advocacy, preventive and response mechanisms.

Vivour-Adeniyi said the project would be an opportunity to continue to break the culture of silence, which encourages Sexual and Gender Based Violence to thrive.

She explained that the project also compelling to inform men of the different forms of violence as well as free support services the State Government has put in place to proactively address these issues.

She stressed further the Lagos State Governor Babajide  Sanwo Olu in his inaugural speech on the 29th of May, 2023,  informed Lagosians of the addition of PLUS into the THEMES Agenda, the PLUS representing Social Inclusion, Gender equality and youth as it has been identified that SGBV is one of the hindrance of gender equality.

Also, the Agency’s Community Engagement Officer, Ikudaisi Oluwatobi urged men to speak out and report any case of sexual violence in their community, to rid the state from the menace.

Ikudaisi who stated that the Agency’s statutory mandate was to educate, sensitize and ensure that government stance is engrained through its various programs, said the purpose was to increase awareness on the prevalence of Gender-Based violence in Lagos.

Also the Assistant Secretary Lagos State Parks and Garages Administrator LASPAGA Babatunde Semiu urged the agency to have its office around each Local Government Area to tackle the issue of gender based violence in the state.

Semiu noted that it would help to reduce the growing trend of abusive cases in the society stressing that the project would go far in preventing sexual and domestic violence cases against men.

Corp member and participant, Akinduro Gideon Taiwo who commended the agency for the initiative said it would help men and young men to know how to handle issues at home and in particular how to relate with their wife and family.

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