At least 852 domestic violence, rape and attempted cases, child neglect and abuse, defilement, among others, were recorded in Lagos State between January 1 and August 31, this year. However, the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), secured four conviction including two, who were sentenced to four years imprisonment for child abuse and two others to 14 years and 10 years for sexual violence in the state.
Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, who stated the statistics Monday, at a media parley to commemorate domestic and sexual violence awareness month, noted that there was an increase in cases recorded within the period under review and last year. Kazeem stressed that within the period under review, there was an increase in men coming forward to report cases of domestic violence, saying: “this year a total of 55 men came forward to report as against 14 men last year.”
According to him, “Between January, 2017 till date (August), the Team has handled 852 cases. This is in stark contrast to the total number of cases handled last year which was 450. This year, we have handled 564 domestic violence cases, 60 defilement cases, 30 rape cases, 11 attempted rape, 123 child neglect and child abuse cases and 84 other cases.” The AG, who also doubles as Chairman, DSVRT, lamented that the state had started to experience an average of 100 new cases monthly. Kazeem continued, “Furthermore, the data revealed that most of sexual assault cases were perpetrated in the afternoons, during the weekday. The data also discloses that 95 percent of perpetrators of sexual violence are known to the victims and witnessed an increase in reporting from Agege, Ikorodu and Oshodi local government. We have also witnessed an increase in reporting of cases, via telephone and walk-ins from other States, mostly from South Western states including Ogun and Osun and the eastern part of the country,” he added.
Worried by the increase in domestic violence cases in the state, Kazeem disclosed that the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved establishment of Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Fund to, among other things, provide empowerment designed specifically for survivors.
“The fund would also provide immediate financial assistance to high risk victims during their quest for justice either by providing transportation; provide empowerment tailored towards relocation or any other form of financial allowance where necessary. The fund would also be to implement support strategies to increase the capacity of responder agencies.”
“This has necessitated the need to embark on sensitization campaigns for parents on parenting skills and child abuse prevention tips as well as trainings for children on Child’s Rights, Child Abuse, safety and how to preserve evidence.”