The Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring total eradication of sexual and gender based violence in the state, saying the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led administration has zero tolerance for perpetrators of such crimes.
In a statement issued on Monday and signed by the Coordinator, Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the state government enjoined victims of sexual and gender based violence to speak out as the state government is ready to fight all such causes and ensure justice is served.
It would be recalled that the state government inaugurated the DSVRT in September 2014 as a response to the increase in incidents of reporting rape, defilement, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect and maltreatment in the State.
Ambode last month met with the team where he charged them to go all out and increase victim safety and offender responsibility by providing a cross jurisdictional response that is uniform in approach in the way Sexual and Gender Based Violence cases are handled in the state.
To this end, Mrs. Vivour-Adeniyi said in the past one month alone, the team has attended to about 50 cases in the state.
Of these cases, she said at least 30 of them are victims of domestic violence adding that the team is also currently monitoring over 20 cases, which include child abuse, defilement and rape with key evidential medical and police reports. This however is excluding the total number of cases the Directorate of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting at the High Court.
“In terms of advocacy, DSVRT has trained over 800 mandated reporters who are State Government employees that have dealings with children on how to detect signs of child abuse and steps to take in reporting such cases. Furthermore, over 2000 school children have been empowered through our rape prevention workshops on how to avoid being a victim of sexual abuse, self defence and how to preserve evidence when physically or sexually assaulted”, she said.
She said the DSVRT comprises top level representatives of the Nigeria Police, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Office of the Public Defender, the Directorate of Citizens’ Rights, Office of Youth and Social Development, Ministries of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Health and Education, Civil Society Organizations, and the Media, who are all involved in the fight against sexual and gender based violence crimes.