At DSVRT, we believe that preventive measures are the most efficient ways of addressing Sexual and Gender Based Violence Issues. To this end, we have embarked on several advocacy programs … our target audience are the following groups-
Through our College Acquaintance Rape Education Workshop (in partnership with Rubies Ink) we engage Primary and Secondary School students on the growing trend of rape culture in Primary and Secondary schools. The Workshop focuses on elements of the fight against incidents of sexual assault in Primary and Secondary Schools by creating awareness and propagating rape prevention measures. It would ultimately address sexual issues and encourage safety consciousness among the students.
DSVRT is in continuous engagement with Traditional Rulers, Market women, artisans and other groups on what Domestic and Sexual Violence entails, the impact it has on the victim, children and the society at large, their role as responders and the need for them to condemn such acts when it comes to their attention.
DSVRT uses the media (print, audio and visual) to bring to the fore, issues of SGBV, consequential impact this crime has on the parties, the children and the society at large. This is hoped to slowly change society’s perception about Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
DSVRT regularly engages companies in town hall sessions as a means of reaching the middle class.
Faith based institutions
Members of DSVRT are on a continuous basis invited to speak about Sexual and Domestic Violence at churches and mosques. At such fora, members of the congregation and spiritual leaders are encouraged not to ask persons in abusive relationships to remain there or request victims of sexual assault to keep quiet but rather people should be encouraged to seek help. Pastors and Imams are also encouraged to speak about these issues and condemn them outrightly.
DSVRT has a pool of clinical psychologists that provide several forms of therapy for victims some of which are cognitive, behavioural, cognitive-behavioural, interpersonal, humanistic, psychodynamic or a combination of a few therapy styles all geared towards improving their lives and assisting them in coping with the trauma associated with SGBV crimes.
Victim and the Police
DSVRT enjoys a cordial relationship with the Nigeria Police and as such, the relevant Divisional Police Officer of the Station where the victim reports to or is asked to report to will be engaged so as to ensure that investigation takes place promptly and the perpetrator is duly charged to court where necessary.
Through the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), victims of SGBV crimes are assured of free legal representation. The OPD also provides a social worker that will accompany the victim to the Police Station and also to court, depending on the level of risk involved.
At DSVRT, we seek to increase victim safety and one of such ways is by ensuring that the relevant referrals are made timeously.
For medical assistance- Victim is promptly referred to the Mirabel Centre orHello Lagos (both at LASUTH, GRA) or to the nearest hospital for medical assistance.
The DSVRT ensures proper coordination of efforts of all the responder agencies, working towards one common goal which is to eradicate Sexual and Gender Based Violence crimes in our society.
We have had 3 trainings for selected Gender Desk officers in Lagos State on the existence of the Prevention Against Domestic Violence Law, 2007 and how to respond to reports. Other Police officers have also been trained on the Sexual Offences provisions in the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, the legal requirement of corroboration, conducting investigations, gathering of evidence and preserving same. This is all geared towards ensuring professionalism in the manner in which such cases are investigated and where required, prosecuted diligently.
DSVRT has embarked on trainings for Mandated Reporters (which includes all Lagos State School Administrators, Counsellors, Teachers, Social Welfare Officers and any other official of the State Government having any dealings with children.) The trainings focus on Child Abuse, Child Protection and Safeguarding the rights of the child and Administration of First Aid treatment in our schools. It is hoped that these trainings will better position our Mandated Reporters on how to best take care of children in their custody and report any actual or perceived child abuse case to the Attorney-General. At the trainings, Mandated Reporters are given Mandated Reporter Manuals (please put the link here) and also copies of relevant laws.
TRAINING OF LAGOS STATE COMMAND CONTROL CENTRE EMMERGENCY RESPONDERS
In August, DSVRT embarked on a 3-day training for Lagos State Emergency Command and Control Centre Officials on how to respond to calls and complaints of Sexual and Gender Based Violence and the necessary referrals to make.
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.
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