Victims of domestic and sexual violence enjoined to speak up

Victims of domestic and sexual violence enjoined to speak up

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (LSDSVA) has been able to provide services for over 10,000 survivours of domestic and sexual violence in the last three years and urged victims to speak up and not suffer in silence.

The Executive Secretary,  Mrs Lola Vivour-Adeniyi, made this known in Lagos on Tuesday during the sensitisation programme organised by the Lagos Bus Service Ltd (LBSL) and the LSDSVA
held at Obalende Terminal of LBSL in Lagos.

Vivour-Adeniyi stated that sexual violence implies a culture of silence and urged victims to speak out.

She disclosed that the LSDSVA had been in existence since 2014 as a response system.

She said that it graduated to a statutory agency in 2021 under Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.

“We chose the LBSL terminal to sensitise customers because we believe in partnership.

“A lot of people board the bus on daily basis that we can pass the message to and they will communicate to their neighbours and families.
“Last year, we partnered with Lagos State Waterways Authority to reach out to the ferry passengers, which has yielded results by reducing the record of sexual violence in the society.

“We have recorded five cases of domestic and sexual violence  between January and May  2023 which has shown that more people are aware of the punishment for violators,” Vivour-Adeniyi said.

She urged Nigerians to support in breaking the barrier of silence and speak up to punish sexual and domestic violence offenders.

The official said that people should report to the appropriate authorities for proper punishment and seek protection of the Lagos State Government.

The Managing Director, LBSL, Mr Idowu Oguntona, said that the sensitisation was organised in collaboration with LSDSVA to improve awareness of domestic and sexual violence in the State.

“We have found out that a lot of people in our workplace, within our homes, have gone through all kinds of violence and they do not understand that they actually have a platform where they can express their minds.

“We are here to create that advocacy and to educate people for them to be aware that when they commit violent acts, it is punishable under the Lagos State Law.

“Sexual violence is a criminal offence and I will like to advice women, ladies and girls to say no to domestic and sexual violence,” Oguntona said.

He said that people should understand that “No means No.”

According to him, many people have been economically, morally, psychologically or educationally abused.

He said stringent measures would go a long way to ensure that violators get back to their senses.

Oguntona urged religious bodies to preach more about consequences against sexual and domestic violence, as it would go a long way in curbing the menace in the society.

One of the bus Captain to LBSL, Mr Ridwan Ayilara, urged violators to stop domestic violence in the society.

“If I see my friend and anybody committing domestic or sexual harassment crime, I will definitely speak out because I am a father and a brother to someone.

“ My advice to all men is to stop rape, stop domestic and sexual violence in the society, no to silence and speak out,” Ayilara said.

One of the passengers, Mrs Grace Okoye, urged parents to encourage their children to speak out whenever they come across victims.

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