BusinessDay

Domestic violence, child abuse cases spike in Lagos

Cases of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual and physical assaults spiked in the last ten months in Lagos to 4,860, just as the state government said it equally increased legal representation for the victims during this period.

Moyosore Onigbanjo, the attorney-general and commissioner for justice, who disclosed this to journalists on Wednesday, at briefing to this year’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month, said the cases were recorded between September 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022.

The domestic and sexual violence awareness programme is commemorated annually in the month of September. This year’s theme of this year’s “It Is On US”.

“It is based on the compelling need to ensure that residents of Lagos realise that ending the menace of sexual gender-based violence is indeed a collective effort which requires the support and collaboration of all members of society,” said Onigbanjo.

According to him, there were 2,029 domestic violence cases, 65 rape cases, 40 sexual assault cases, 10 attempted rape cases, five sexual assault by penetration, 73 threat to life and 488 others, such as separation, neglect.

Others included 113 child abuse/physical assault, 194 defilement cases, 15 defilement/molestation by minor to minor, 105 child labour, abduction neglect and 145 sexual harassment/molestation cases.

He that a total of 1,578 children experienced emotional abuse, with 55 percent of these taken through counselling programmes to be able to psychologically deal with their ugly experiences without having a permanent negative impact on them.

“We have also witnessed an increase in reporting of cases from other states; mostly from Ogun, Abia, Anambra and others respectively. In the past 11 Months, a total of 394 cases occurred outside Lagos. Such cases are promptly referred to the relevant agencies in their respective States.

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“The Office of the Public Defender as well as the Lagos Public Interest Law Partnership (LPILP) has provided free legal representation to 110 survivors of Domestic Violence, ranging from Judicial Separation, Divorce, Maintenance, Custody of children and Settlement.

“All the survivors of sexual assault received medical attention from Comprehensive Primary Health Care Centres, General Hospitals and Sexual Assault Referral Centres like Mirabel Centre, Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) as well as Idera Centre,” he said.

Moyosore disclosed that the agency had provided services to nine persons with disabilities who were experiencing one form of gender-based violence or the other.

He further revealed that the youngest child that experienced sexual violence in the year under review was eight months, while the oldest clients that experienced domestic violence were 75-year-old woman and 89-year-old man.

On the domestic and sexual violence awareness month, September, 2022, the Attorney General said since 2015, the DSVRT had commemorated the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month, which has traditionally been in the month of September, to coincide with the month the Team was established in 2014.

“This has further been institutionalised by virtue of governor giving assent to the Law establishing the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency on the 20th of September, 2021. Various activities are usually earmarked to commemorate the Month.

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