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Domestic And Sexual Violence Agency Storms Ajeromi Ifelodun LGA To Sensitize Residents On SGBV

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency held its second local government town hall meeting in an attempt to address the rising cases of domestic and sexual violence across the state. The meeting which is the second community engagement this year took place at Ajeromi Ifelodun local government on the 22nd of February.  The town hall meeting themed “It’s on us to End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence” is designed to heighten awareness about domestic and sexual violence amongst members of the community, inform them of the provisions of the laws and support services available for victims and survivors. Addressing the gathering, the Executive Secretary of DSVA, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi reiterated the need for all participants to see themselves as mandated reporters, charging them that if they see something, they have a duty to say something and do something. Vivour-Adeniyi added that this year, DSVA is more committed to ensuring that the declaration of Governor Babajide Sanwoolu’s zero tolerance to all forms of Domestic and Sexual Violence, is attained. On his part, the Executive Chairman of Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area, who was represented by the Vice-Chairman, Hon. Lucky Uduikhue assured participants of the local government’s zeal and desire in ensuring all relevant stakeholders, collaborate to rid Ajeromi Ifelodun LGA of the menace of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). Also, Mrs Adeola Birch of the Youth Adolescent Friendly Centres, Ministry of Health, in Lagos state popularly referred to as “Hello Lagos!” as well as ASP Itunu Faremi and Inspector Folasade Ajayi, Officers in Charge of Festac and Ajegunle Family Support Unit respectively, enlightened participants on issues related to SGBV, informing them of community resources available at their disposal. The meeting had in attendance over 300 stakeholders drawn from community Development Councils, traditional rulers, the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Community Development Authorities, Market men and women, religious leaders, community leaders, artisans, captains of industries as well as other relevant stakeholders. The toll-free line for reporting domestic and sexual violence cases (08000333333) which was inscribed on memorabilia was distributed to all participants. Recall that the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency commenced Local Government Town Hall Meetings on Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Surulere earlier in the month. The town hall meetings would be held in all the LGAs and LCDAs across the state.

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Lagos State Government Commences Town Hall Community Engagements On Sexual and Gender Based Violence

In a bid to address the rising cases of domestic and sexual violence in the State, the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, (DSVA)on Tuesday held its maiden town hall Local Government meeting tagged ‘Its on Us to End Sexual and Gender Based Violence’ at Surulere Local Government as well as Coker AGUDA and Itire Ikate LCDA. The meeting had in attendance over 300 stakeholders drawn from community Development Councils, Community Development Authorities, Market men and Women, religious leaders, community leaders, artisans, captains of industries as well as other relevant stakeholders. According to the Executive Secretary of DSVA, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the concept of the Town Hall meeting is to decentralise services and ensure that residents of the State irrespective of their location, be it in the inner cities, urban and rural areas are aware of the existence of the relevant laws as well as the support services available to them, these according to her include medical, social services and partner NGOs in their communities. She added that the purpose of the community outreach is to solidify its partnership with Local governments as well as creation of a community response teams who would serve as first responders, thereby opening up the referral pathway for survivors desirous of accessing justice. Vivour-Adeniyi added that this year DSVA is more committed to ensuring that the present administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu’s zero tolerance  declaration to all forms of Domestic and Sexual Violence is attained. On his own part, the Executive Chairman of Surulere Local Government who was represented by the Vice Chairman, Hon. Dosunmu Adewale assured participants of the Local Government’s zeal and desire in ensuring all relevant stakeholders collaborate and rid out the menace of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) out of the State. The Executive Chairman  of Coker AGUDA Local Council Development Area, Hon. Ibrahim Rasaq Lekan also reiterated the same.  Dr. Veronica Iwayemi of the Primary Health Care Board as well as DSP Abimbola Williams of the Lagos State Police Command, enlightened participants on issues related to SGBV  and informed them of community resources available at their disposal. The town hall meeting is to be held in all the LGAs as well as LCDAs across the State.

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NGOs and Lagos State Government Step Up Partnership To Proactively Address   Sexual And Gender Based Violence.

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency in partnership with the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) Programme organised a roundtable Ddscussion with non-governmental organizations in a bid to strengthen the existing synergy and collaboration between DSVA and the NGO’s.. The meeting which took place on the 26th of January, 2021 was held at Pearlwort Hotel & Suites, Alausa, Ikeja and had in attendance the Executive Secretary of DSVA, a representative from ROLAC and thirty representatives of the Non-Governmental Organizations whose thematic areas are sexual violence in Lagos State. In her opening remarks, the Executive Secretary of DSVA, Mrs. Titilola Vivour –Adeniyi, stated that for transparency and accountability purposes, it was important to brief partner NGOs on the yearly report of activities of the agency. Whilst presenting the scorecard of the agency, the Executive Secretary discussed the activities organized by the agency from January to December, 2021 as she further enlightened the participants on the various interventions of the State Government and also highlighted the data in the year under review. According to her, the Agency had provided services to 3943 survivors, 2721 adults and 1222 children. Furthermore, Alimosho, Kosofe, Ikeja, Ikorodu and Eti Osa Local Governments had recorded the highest reporting of occurrence of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the State. At the round table discussion, Non-Governmental Organizations were also given an opportunity to share the successes and challenges encountered in the past year. The common challenges highlighted by the representatives were lack of funding of the NGOs, institutional challenges and withdrawal of cases by some of the victims. A common highlight and success story recorded by the NGos was the fruitful sensitization programmes held at schools, markets and communities to raise awareness against domestic and sexual violence. Whilst responding to the concerns raised, Mrs Vivour-Adeniyi reiterated  the state government’s zero tolerance to all forms of Sexual and Gender Based Violence by the Governor Sanwo-Olu Administration . The representatives of the Non- Governmental Organizations were urged to continue to be proactive in the fight against Domestic and Sexual violence in Lagos State.

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DSVRT engages boys as agents of change in ending violence against females

Members of the Kings Club project, an initiative of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency organized a debate on the topic: “Domestic and Sexual Violence; who is to blame – The Perpetrator or the Society?” This is in commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism for the elimination of violence against women and girls. Thursday’s debate which took place at the Oregun Junior and Senior High School, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun had in attendance Counsellors, Teachers and male Students drawn from Education Districts II, IV, V and Lagos Mainland Primary school students, comprising a total of 125 students drawn from about 20 schools. The different debaters canvassed their positions and ultimately encouraged members of the public and State Government to ensure Domestic and Sexual Violence becomes a thing of the past.The students from Mende Junior and Senior High School supported the motion that the perpetrator is to blame. While, those in support of the society were from Immaculate Heart Junior and Senior High School. At the end, Immaculate Senior High School won with a total of 337 points with each debater receiving a cash prize prize of Fifty Thousand Naira. Members of the Kings Club project, an initiative of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency organized a debate on the topic: “Domestic and Sexual Violence; who is to blame – The Perpetrator or the Society?” This is in commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism for the elimination of violence against women and girls. Thursday’s debate which took place at the Oregun Junior and Senior High School, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun had in attendance Counsellors, Teachers and male Students drawn from Education Districts II, IV, V and Lagos Mainland Primary school students, comprising a total of 125 students drawn from about 20 schools. The different debaters canvassed their positions and ultimately encouraged members of the public and State Government to ensure Domestic and Sexual Violence becomes a thing of the past.The students from Mende Junior and Senior High School supported the motion that the perpetrator is to blame. While, those in support of the society were from Immaculate Heart Junior and Senior High School. At the end, Immaculate Senior High School won with a total of 337 points with each debater receiving a cash prize prize of Fifty Thousand Naira. In second place was Immaculate Junior School with a total of 317 points with a reward of a cash price of Thirty Thousand Naira. In third and fourth places were Mende Senior High School and Mende Junior School with 291 and 275 points respectively. Among the panel of Judges and Special Guests were Child Protection activist, Taiwo Akinlami, the coordinator of the National Human Rights Commission in Lagos State, Lukas Koyejo, and the Executive Secretary of Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi. They charged the boys to remain committed in school and use their gender to protect, promote and uphold gender equality. The ultimate goal of the Kings Club is to create a sustainable structure in educational institutions that would help debunk socio-cultural misconceptions, promote positive masculinity and bring about behavioral and attuditional change in the minds of young boys in Lagos State which is hoped would ultimately prevent the occurrence of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.

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Charting Course for Domestic Violence Survivors with ‘Speak to INU’

In view of the need to ensure survivors of domestic violence get help and have easy access to necessary services, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team in partnership with the Lagos branch of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria recently launched the ‘Speak to INU’ code scheme, Sunday Ehigiator reports Analysis of the bi-annual (January- June, 2021) report of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) revealed that at least 60 per cent of survivors of domestic violence sought assistance at their community pharmacies. Out of this percentage, 50 per cent declined visiting the police or the hospital for medical attention. In the report, some of the survivors disclosed that they were not aware of the designated police stations or the health facilities where help could be accessed. They were also more comfortable accessing support at their community pharmacy. It was in view of the findings of the report, and to ensure that survivors of domestic violence get necessary help as required, and easy access to needed services, that the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team partnered the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (Lagos Branch) with a view to introducing and implementing the ‘Speak to INU’, as a coded word for victims of domestic violence to get help. Speaking to THISDAY at a two-day training program for community licensed pharmacists, organised by DSVRT, the program Coordinator, Titilola Adeniyi, said ‘Speak to INU’ would provide survivors of domestic violence access to help and other relevant support. “Our data revealed that at least 50 per cent of survival of domestic would approach their community pharmacy to access help after an abuse has occurred. And out of the 50 per cent, a good number will not go to either a police station or hospital to incident the case. “This became very apparent during the COVID-19 lockdown. So we felt that it was important for us to reach those people because they were not captured in the system. They were not going to the hospital, police or government, and if violence is not checked, it will happen again. “So we reached out to the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Lagos Branch, and communicated our intentions to them, which is to create a situation where the pharmacy can present itself as a safe space for survivors of domestic violence because that’s the first place they head to for pain relief after suffering the violence. “So we thought it was possible for us to leverage the fact that they easily would go to a pharmacy, and when they go, they should make use of the code word, ‘Speak to INU, I Need You’. This code word simply communicates to the pharmacist that they had just suffered from domestic violence and they needed help. “So, immediately they make this statement, they are taken in to a consulting or counseling room, where they are now offered the different options available and the referral part can then be activated. “We believe that the pharmacy environment lends itself well to this scheme. Indeed, the pharmacy can be a safe space for survivors of domestic violence. To this end, survivors of domestic or sexual violence would be able to make use of the code in accessing help and other relevant support. “This would be provided for by the pharmacist, and where necessary and desired, onward referrals would be made to DSVRT. “So the idea is, if a person is experiencing abuse, please go into a community licensed pharmacy, and use the code word, ‘I Want to Speak to INU’, then a trained pharmacist will know what you mean. They will take you into the counseling room, and give you the options available, put you in touch with us, where you can receive a mirage of services, legal support, medical attention, empowerment etc, and they are all free of charge. “We anticipated that it may be that the survivor rushes out of the home, and runs into a pharmacy, at that point, the pharmacy present itself as a safe space. And the pharmacist can then assist the survivor to even be protected from the abuser. “It is an innovation that we are all very excited about because this is a demographic that we have not been able to capture for so long into the system. Not just in terms of data, but also in ensuring that they are able to get adequate support,” she said. Source: This Day

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The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team organisés it’s maiden Safeguarding & Child Protection day on the 21st of September, 2021.

A total of 300 primary and secondary school children from public and private schools drawn from all the six education districts in Lagos attended the workshop. The governor’s wife was represented by Mrs Mojisola Fashola, the Director of Administration and Human Resources of the Office of the Lagos State Deputy-Governor’s Office. “Parents, it is not early to start educating your children on what they need to know about sex. Experts have established that a lot of parents shy away from discussing the topic and at the end of the day, the children go out to learn the wrong things. “We therefore must keep in touch with the world by properly educating our children on everything that matters,” she said. Children were engaged on their rights, responsibilities , different forms of child abuse, different steps to take to report abuse, etc. It was also an opportunity for students to demonstrate what Child protection means to them through various artistic performances- drama, poetry, music etc. We also launched our animation video – STRAC kids which encapsulates Safeguarding and Child Protection. Students received various information education and communication materials. It wasn’t indeed a day to remember We thank our partners, Joint EU Funded Spotlight initiative , UNFPA, Fanmilk and belloxxi Buscuits. Indeed, children have a role to play in their protection. It is there OFR of utmost importance that they are empowered accordingly.

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team organisés it’s maiden Safeguarding & Child Protection day on the 21st of September, 2021. Read More »

Sanwo-Olu appoints Vivour-Adeniyi as head of DSVA

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has appointed Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi as the Executive Secretary of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency. He made the announcement today as he signed the Law establishing the agency. The law also establishes the Sex Offenders Register. The new law coincides with the observance of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month. “Today marks a significant day for women in our dear state, and for the men as well”, Sanwo-Olu said. “Any form of sexual violence is strongly abhorred by us as a state, and as individuals. “Sexual violence will not be tolerated nor accepted in any way, shape or form. Source: PM news Nigeria

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Lagos Governor Signs Law Establishing Sex Offenders’ Register

The DSVRT legislation provides for the establishment of the Sexual Offenders’ Register that would help the state to efficiently tackle the issues of violations in communities. The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has signed a legislation transforming the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) into a full-blown agency.  The DSVRT legislation provides for the establishment of the Sexual Offenders’ Register that would help the state to efficiently tackle the issues of violations in communities.  The development coincided with the commemorative month dedicated to raising awareness on gender-based violence in the state.  The governor and members of the state’s cabinet wore attires with purple shades to support the campaign against sexual violence.  Sanwo-Olu also announced the appointment of Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi as the Executive Secretary (ES) of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency.  Vivour-Adeniyi was the coordinator of the response team before the legislation was signed into law.  The governor wrote on his Instagram handle: “Today marks a significant day for women in our dear state, and for the men as well. In commemoration of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month, I signed the Law establishing the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency which also includes the Sex Offenders Register. “Any form of sexual violence is strongly abhorred by us as a state, and as individuals. And it will not be tolerated nor accepted in any way, shape or form. Therefore, signing this law is a testament of what we stand for and stand against.  “I, alongside members of the State Executive Council received the team of The Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), and I announced the appointment of Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi as the Executive Secretary (ES) of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency.” The legislation indicates that whoever molests a girl child would have his name put in the sex offender register. “So, in future, if you want to employ such a person, you just type in the name and if you find such person’s name there, you just know that person was once a rapist. You dissociate yourself from him. It is a bill now; we are waiting for the governor to pass it to law. It is a worthy course; it is a job that must be done,” the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Poverty Alleviation and Job Creation, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mojisolaoluwa Alli-Macaulay, stated this in her keynote address during the launch of International Family Foundation in Lagos recently. Source: Sahara Reporters

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Lagos Records Over 10,000 Cases Of Domestic , Sexual Violence In 3 Years

Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has handled 10,007 cases of Domestic and Sexual Violence involving Men, Women and Children from May 2019 to August 2021. The Hon. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) made the disclosure at a Media Parley organised to give account of the performance of DSVRT in commemoration of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month at Alausa, Ikeja. He noted, against the backdrop of rising cases of Domestic and Sexual Violence, incessant Child abuse.  Hence the need to continuously prosecute perpetrators in the state. “Between the period, May 2019 to August 2021, 4150 Domestic Violence, 177 Rape, 255 Attempt to commit rape/Sexual Assault, 246 Sexual Assault by penetration/Threat, 877 Others (Separation, Not taking responsibilities of  child(ren)Neglect, custody of the child, Non-GBV, 436 Child Abuse/Physical Assault, 271 Defilement cases, 13 Defilement by Minor to Minor , 454  Child Labour, Abduction Neglect/Others, 148 Sexual Harassment/Molestation cases were handled by the state through the Domestic Violence and Sexual Response Team (DSVRT)”, Onigbanjo said. The Commissioner added that, Since May 2019 the DSVRT received about 150 new cases monthly, saying that the state also witnessed an increase in reporting of cases from other States, mostly from Ogun and Oyo State. “In the past 2 years, a total of 526 cases occurred outside Lagos. Such cases are promptly referred to the relevant agencies in their respective States”, He noted Onigbanjo also stated that a total of 2980 children have experienced emotional abuse and have been taken through counseling programs to ensure they fit in back to the society without a negative psychological impact on them. In his words, “ The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team which was  conceived in September 2014 is in alignment with the “THEMES” Agenda of Governor Sanwo-olu’s led administration, particularly, the pillars of Health, Education, Security and Good Governance”. “By virtue of the Team’s various initiatives, as well as the zero tolerance declared in the state, DSVRT has continued to see a steady increase of formal reportage of cases in the state”. The Commissioner noted that the notable achievement’s of the Ministry of Justice stems from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) which has secured over 365 convictions for various Sexual offenses, including Rape, Defilement, Sexual Assault by Penetration and Sexual Assault” said Onigbanjo. He added, To ensure that survivors/ victims are able to access care at all levels, the Team partnered with Ford Foundation in building capacity of designated and pilot private hospitals in order to provide sexual assault management services to survivors which is located across the metropolis. Onigbanjo said, the DSVRT Team also partnered with various institutions such as the Office of the Commissioner of Police, the Office of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State Teaching Service Commission, Joint European Union Funded Spotlight Initiative, The King’s Club Project amongst others in a bid to proffer better solutions to curb this menace and promote the awareness of Domestic and Sexual Violence in the state. While speaking on the outlined activities to commemorate the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month, the Chairman DSVRT, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo stated, that the awareness would run for a month with a launch of #TeamAlausaPurpleCampaign, a community engagement with proposed route of Iba/Ipaja in view of the numbers of cases being reported in 2years and also a day set aside for Safeguarding and Child Protection Day while ending the month long program with a Commendation Night.

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Helping magistrates, public servants forge unified response to domestic violence

The Lagos State government has trained about 62 civil servants and primary responders in the state on how to provide a uniform response to domestic and sexual violence cases. Participants at the event included Chief Magistrates and Presidents of Customary Courts of the Lagos Judiciary, Counselors of Ministry of Education districts in the state, senior officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Office of the Public Defender, Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC) and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. They also included Teammates of Domestic and Sexual Violence Team (DSVRT) from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka,  Lagos State University(LASU), Yaba College of Technology, State Universal Basic Education Board, Lagos State Polytechnic and social workers among other trainees. Programme’s focus The  four-day engagement and training programme of stakeholders focused on the dynamics of the State Domestic and Sexual  Violence Unified Response Protocol and Referral Pathway (URPRP), a manual designed to  provide a multi-sectoral, survivor-centered approach for responding to domestic and sexual violence. The programme was put together by the DSVRT and supported by the European Union Funded Spotlight Initiative and UN Women. The participants were trained on the contents of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Uniformed Response Protocol and Referral Pathway (URPRP), a manual designed to provide a multi-sectoral, survivor-centered approach for responding to domestic and sexual violence. In a welcome address delivered on his behalf by the Coordinator, DSVRT, Mrs Titilola Rhodes-Vivour, Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) said the URPRP has been developed to guide the operations of all stakeholders providing response services as well as set minimum standards for the provision of quality and efficient services to survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence  as responding to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence requires a multi-disciplinary approach.” Onigbanjo said the URPRP outlines a statewide, consistent, predictable and holistic response mechanism to incidents of domestic and sexual violence; from access to healthcare, provision of psycho social support, legal support, emergency services, law enforcement and other special services. Source: The Nation

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