Lagos commences grassroots sensitisation on domestic, sexual violence
Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) in collaboration with Centre for Women’s Health and Information, Yaba, has commenced advocacy and sensitisation programme on domestic and sexual violence throughout the 20 Local Councils of the state.
Already, four councils have been covered in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directive, following increasing cases of domestic and sexual violence in the state.
Speaking during a sensitisation programme at Oshodi-Isolo Local Council, Executive Secretary of the agency, Mrs. Titilayo Vivour-Adeniyi, said the event was aimed at sensitising residents about sexual and gender-based violence and offering support services to victims with a view to reducing the rise in violence and defilement.
According to her, it is important that the message gets to the grassroots because the governor has given a mandate that every resident should be appropriately informed and empowered with knowledge of sexual and domestic violence as to what to do if the unfortunate incident happens.
“The town hall meeting has started with Surulere, Ajeromi -Ifelodun Local Council ,the third is Oshodi-Isolo council,” she said.
Vice Chairman of the council, Hon. Modupe Badmus Aregbe, who stood in for the chairman, described the programme as a welcome development to create awareness to a lot of women and men on the privileged information about their rights. She stressed that many women are suffering in their marriages and need to speak up instead of dying in silence.
According to her, parents should train their children equally, instead of treating male children as kings. She noted that though domestic violence also affects the male, the female victims outnumber the male, but with such awareness the number of violent cases will reduce.
She further advised parents to make their children their friends to win their confidence. In an interview with The Guardian, Director with the Centre for Women Health and Information, Yaba, Atinuke Odukoya, said the centre is collaborating with the Domestic and Sexual violence Agency on issues of gender-based and sexual violence so that community members , community development committee, associations will be at the fore front of preventing and responding to gender based violence within their communities .
According to her, it is in the communities that a whole lot of things happen, so we need to engage them to create focal points within the councils and Local council Development Areas ( LCDAs).
A survivor of domestic violence, Mrs. Maria Sanusi advised that women should speak out and those who have friends and relations, who are abused or molested should not be mocked, but put a call to the agency to counsel them because most women suffer emotions, low self-esteem and high blood pressure.