Lagos State Government has applauded the increased awareness that has led to a rise in the report of sexual and domestic abuse cases, saying that residents are now better informed of the various channels made available by the government to report cases of domestic violence to appropriate authorities.
The State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, who stated this at a news conference organised by the State Government to commemorate the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month, disclosed that recent records show a total departure from the apathy initially harboured by survivors of domestic abuse.
According to the Commissioner, the statistics made available by the State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team reveals that no fewer than 3,089 cases of sexual and domestic violence were reported in the past eight months.
Speaking on the theme of the 2018 celebration: “Securing the Home against Violence: Everyone’s Responsibility”, Kazeem said that the 2018 figure increased over 200 per cent compared to 2017 figure of 1,044.
Kazeem, represented at the briefing by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Funmilola Odunlami, revealed that “from January to August 2018, DSVRT received 3,089 reported cases, which indicates that the number of reports had doubled compared to what the 1044 cases DVSRT handled in 2017”.
“From January till August 2018, the Team handled 1,037 cases in the office, 939 Domestic Violence cases, 245 Child Abuse cases, 40 defilement cases, 22 rape cases, 13 cases of attempt to commit Rape and Sexual Assault by penetration”, he added.
He also mentioned that there had also been reported cases through the ‘6820 USSD’ platform commissioned in 2017 by the State government to facilitate the swift reporting of incidents of Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence and Child Abuse.
The Commissioner explained further that “From January 1, 2018, till date, DSVRT has received 2,052 reports via the 6820 short-code. A total of 718 actual cases were reported. Hence, DSVRT has responded to 357 reports of domestic violence, 195 reports of Sexual Abuse and 166 reports of child abuse, all reported via the 6,820 platforms”.
He stated that the team had also increased its focus on children who had witnessed intimate partner violence in 2018, saying that a total of 1,187 children have been exposed to domestic violence within the home.
“Some of these children have been given counselling to ensure that they are able to psychologically deal with the events they have witnessed without it having a permanent and negative impact on them in future”, he said.