Lagos records 574 cases of domestic violence, sexual harassment
Seeks capital punishment for perpetrators
Governor Akinwumi Ambode says 574 cases of domestic violence and sexual harassment were recorded between last June and the sixth month of this year in Lagos State.
The disclosure comes in the wake of the death of a 14-year-old Junior Secondary School (JSS) student, Obiamaka Orakwue, who was recently raped to death in her Abule Ado neighbourhood of the state.
The governor spoke yesterday at the public presentation of a report titled, “ Rape: Breaking the silence and saving lives” and authored by Mirabel Centre, the first Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Nigeria, to mark its fourth anniversary.
He decried the upsurge in assault on children and women, reiterating his administration’s zero tolerance for battering and other despicable acts.According to Ambode, government had demonstrated commitment through the creation of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSRVT) mandated to bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book.
He expressed joy that menace was fast gaining awareness through the activities of the agency.Represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Lola Akande, the governor also sought capital punishment for offenders.
He argued that if kidnapping could attract death sentence, perpetrators of sexual assault should not be exception.Ambode sought collaboration, saying the job of eradicating the menace was a tripartite responsibility of government, the public and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The chairperson, Partnership of Justice and Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa, regretted the high rate of criminality in the country, noting that the disturbing development was threatening its peaceful existence.
Citing the case of the late teenager, she warned of the danger ahead. Atsenuwa, however, called for the adoption of a day against cultural, domestic and sexual assault.
In her remarks, the founder of Mirabel Centre, Mrs. Itoro Eze-Anaba, expressed sadness that teenagers were being abused by people who, ordinarily, should protect them.According to her, the centre has, since coming on board in 2013, played host to 2342 clients.