LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT SET FOR TOTAL ERADICATION OF SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The Lagos State Government inaugurated the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (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.
The Team is to 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.
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 & Poverty Alleviation, Health and Education, Civil Society Organizations, and the Media which are all involved in the fight against sexual and gender based violence crimes.
In the past 1 month alone, the DSVRT has attended to about 50 cases in Lagos State.
Of these cases, over 30 of them are victims of Domestic Violence. The Team is also currently personally 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.
The Lagos State Government therefore reiterates its commitment in ensuring total eradication of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the State, as the State has zero tolerance for perpetrators of such crimes.
Victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence are therefore encouraged to speak out as the Government is ready to fight all such causes and ensure justice is served.