The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) in collaboration with the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption ROLAC has organized a 1-day interactive SGBV Case Conference with Divisional Police Officers, (DPOs), Officers in Charge of Family Support Units (OCs) and Officers in FSUs in the Lagos Police Command at the Amber Residence Hotel, Ikeja-GRA, Lagos on the 8th of November 2023.
The Officer in Charge, Gender Desk Department, Lagos State Police Command, CSP Grace Agboola who stood in for the Commissioner of Police, lauded the efforts of State Government and the Lagos DSVA for continually scaling up the pace in the quest to eradicate SGBV in the State. He gave assurance that officers in the Lagos Police Command will continue to give the needed support to ensuring Perpetrators of these crimes are made to face the full wrath of the Law and Survivors get Justice.
Executive Secretary, DSVA, Titilola Vivour- Adeniyi in her opening, gave a background to burgeoning issues of Sexual and Gender Based Violence SGBV and said the one-day interactive engagement with the law enforcement agents was strategically aimed at addressing and effectively responding to cases of SGBV.
While reiterating the Lagos State’s zero tolerance stance against all forms of SGBV crimes, she noted that Sexual and Gender based Violence remains a globally pervasive human rights violation as statistics has shown that one in three women worldwide will experience physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of men at some point in their lives and with the establishment of the Lagos DSVA, preventing and responding to these heinous crimes is the Agency’s core mandate.
Vivour -Adeniyi revealed that since the establishment of the Agency, it has provided services to over 10000 survivors including adults and children with the unrelenting support and Political Will of the State Government, the Police and the collaborative support of stakeholders.
“The ultimate aim of this gathering is to reinforce our commitment to eradicating SGBV from our dear state, as you may know that it is not over until it is over. We must constantly educate ourselves and be open minded to embrace new ideas, and new techniques, identify our challenges and proffer solutions that would improve outcomes for Survivors of SGBV.
Giving her goodwill message, the Project Coordinator, The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme Phase II, Mrs. Ajibola Ijimakinwa said the programme is funded by the European Union and implemented by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IIDEA)
Project Coordinator said “The overall goal of the programme is to contribute to the consolidation of the rule of law and anti-corruption reforms in Nigeria. Component 2 of the Programme is seeking to improve access to justice for vulnerable women, children, juveniles, persons with disabilities and victims of sexual and gender-based violence by strengthening inclusive policy, institutional and operational frameworks for access to justice and improving availability of referral and legal aid services for vulnerable persons”
“RoLAC 2 is collaborating with the DSVA to engage with Divisional Police officers and the officers of the Family support unit to facilitate discussions on how to improve access to justice for victims of sexual and gender-based violence. The Police are encouraged to conduct more thorough investigations, gather necessary evidence, and adhere to proper procedures, ultimately leading to a higher rate of successful prosecutions” Ijimakinwa said
Ijimakinwa also revealed that the programme will be implemented over a period of five years 2023 – 2027 at the Federal and in 5 states including Lagos.
Also at the conference, General Manager Lagos State Office for Disabilty Affairs (LASODA) Mr. Oluwadamilare Ogundairo presented a paper on Disability Inclusion in handling SGBV cases.
CSP Grace Agboola, OC, Gender Desk Department gave an overview of the establishment, importance and functions of the Family Support Unit.
Head, Case Management DSVA, Mrs. Tumininu Oni reeled out data on SGBV cases and the efforts of the Agency in the adjudication of Justice for Survivors
Representing the Director for Public Prosecutions Dr. Babajide Martins, from the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Ms. Inumidun Solarin interfaced with Officers on the salient underlings during investigations and challenges faced by FSUs in ensuring justice.