PRESS RELEASE 1
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.
PRESS RELEASE 2LAGOS STATE POISED TO ADEQUATELY RESPOND TO REPORTS OF SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE CRIMES
In line with the Sate Government's desire to ensure that victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence have a voice and concerned members of the public who wish to report acts of violence are able to do so with utmost confidentiality, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team recently concluded its training for the Lagos State Emergency Command And Control Centre Officials on how to receive reports of Sexual and Gender Based Violence incidents in the State.
All the 190 Agents were trained on how to receive reports of Sexual and Gender Based Violence. Apart from the dissemination of the information to the appropriate agencies for appropriate action, callers would be informed of relevant steps to be taken, depending on the nature of the call. They would also be given details (addresses and telephone numbers) of the relevant Agencies that would handle their issues - i.e. for rape/defilement- Mirabel Centre, Office of the Public Defender
The essence of this initiative is to encourage victims and members of the public to make use of the toll free emergency lines in order to ensure access to justice irrespective of class and means.
DSVRT therefore urges Lagosians to make use of the toll free emergency lines- (112) to report cases of rape, defilement, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect maltreatment and other sexual assaults and ensures that the information provided will be passed across and the concerned agencies will be notified immediately.
Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team
PRESS RELEASE 3LASG SAVES HELPLESS VICTIM OF 25-YEAR LONG DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABUSE
The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team has intervened in a case of domestic violence that had been perpetrated for over 25 years by a man over his wife.
The case in question was brought into limelight by virtue of the victim's relative speaking out to the press. The Team contacted the 63 year old victim and bread winner of the home ,Mrs. Oridota Oladele to enlighten her on her rights, support Services at her disposal, and ultimately ascertain what she wanted out of the situation
The Director of Citizens Rights, Mrs Omotilewa Ibirogba with other team members met with her, and she insisted that all she required was officials of government to talk to her husband to desist from acts of physical,psychological, emotional and verbal abuses which are all crimes contrary to the Prevention Against Domestic Violence Law,2007.
A referral letter was subsequently done to Isokoko Police Station which is a representative of the Police Force in DSVRT and houses a Family Support Unit. Some members of the Team also accompanied the victim to the Station where the matter was duly reported.
Upon her making her report, police officers in company of DSVRT members went to the couple's place of residence for the purpose of transporting the husband to the station for questioning and cautioning.
A Memorandum of Undertaking was signed at the Station by the husband that he would desist from domestic violence and if he relents, he would be duly arrested and a Protection Order gotten against him. The Ministry of Health, also a member of DSVRT was informed of the case and are working on taking up her treatment free of charge as the victim is in need of constant medical attention and care.
The Ben Bruce Foundation, one of DSVRT's partners upon hearing Mrs. Oladele's situation has pledged to support her as her means of livelihood has been affected by her predicament. Women's RightMeanwhile the progress of the couple will continue to be monitored by the DSVRT and the Police.
Family members, neighbors and concerned citizens are encouraged to assist victims of domestic violence by reporting to the police station or the DSVRT by calling 112 or 08137960048.
We also use this medium to restate that the Lagos State Government has a zero tolerance for domestic and sexual violence and therefore urges victims to come out ,speak up and get the desired assistance before it is too late.
Co-ordinator, Lagos State Domestic & Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT)
PRESS RELEASE 4DSVRT ENGAGES THE CORPORATE WORLD AND TRAINS MEDIA BROADCASTERS ON SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE (SGBV) ISSUES
Given the mandate of His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to drive a wide spread awareness of SGBV issues across the State, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team on Friday, 11th of September, 2015 engaged staff of Unilever Nigeria Plc. at their Head Office in Oregun on the various initiatives being taken to curb the incidents in Lagos. There were over 100 members of staff in attendance. The presentation was followed by an interactive session where members of staff were further enlightened.
This is a continuation of the existing partnership between both bodies, which saw the Vaseline, Close Up and Lux brands provide support at the recent engagement session between the DSVRT and Market Men and Women Association of Lagos State led by the Iyaloja General, Chief Mrs. Tinubu-Ojo.
DSVRT in partnership with State Accountability Voice Initiative (SAVI) on Friday, 11th of September 2015 also engaged over 50 media broadcasters, representing 30 media houses on Sexual and Gender Based Violence and how to report incidents. They were informed of the various laws, namely, Child's Rights Law, 2007, Prevention against Domestic Violence Law and the relevant sexual provisions in the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
They were also informed of support services available but most importantly, best practices in reporting cases of SGBV in the media. They were also enlightened about the psychosocial impact that the crimes have on victims, the issue of confidentiality, societal perceptions of these issues and the need to always present two sides of the story. Thy were also urged to see themselves as advocates against Sexual and Gender Based Violence as the power their reporting possess cannot be overemphasized.
The media representatives, on behalf of their media houses, gave renewed commitments in ensuring that issues of SGBV remain on the front burner, the deterrence message will characterize their reporting and that their coverage will also enlighten their subscribers on steps available in reaching out to the relevant agencies on SGBV issues.
11th September, 2015