Lagos takes steps to end sexual violence

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

In a bid to end sexual violence, the Lagos State Government says it is in search of the first eleven domestic and sexual violence offenders to prosecute as a deterrent to others.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode gave this hint when he led hundreds of people to participate in the first “All male Walk” against domestic and sexual violence, as part of activities marking this year’s Lagos state Domestic and Sexual Violence Month.

Governor Ambode noted that women had been on the receiving end of all forms of violence, and this should not be taken for granted as the effect had been enormous.

“There is also an evident trend of suppressing the voice of these victims due to the fact that these acts are perpetrated largely by men, we should not take for granted the potential exponential effect of having emotionally and psychologically damaged women in a society as the effect could transcend to their children who grow up in an environment, thinking this is the norm.”

“We firmly believe that the way forward is to continuously engage the male folk as well as the community as a whole, community engagement is an essential part of working to prevent and respond to all forms of Gender Based Violence,” the Governor said.

Mr Ambode said his administration would continue to do more to protect the rights and welfare of the most vulnerable members of the community as he charged the participants to remain ambassadors and to sustain the conversation in every aspect of their daily lives.

Governor Ambode, while commending participants of the Walk, urged them to remain ambassadors and flag-bearers in the fight against domestic and sexual violence.

The Governor also commended the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), organisers of the Walk just as he gave the assurance that his administration would continue to do more to ensure the rights and welfare of the most vulnerable in the State are adequately protected.

“I will like you to join hands with me to say no to rapists, say no to women beaters and wherever they are, we know that the Task Force that we have set up will swing into action once it receives any petition from any member of the society,” Governor Ambode said.

The Coordinator of the DSVRT, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi said the aim of the all men walk was to get men to positively influence their peers who may be involved in such act to desist.

Legislative endorsement

A member of the Lagos House of Assembly who took part in the campaign, Mr Adedamola Kasunmu, representing Ikeja Constituency (II) urged the participants and men in general to rise up to the task of ending gender-based violence.

The all male walk, with the theme-”Promoting Positive Masculinity” was held simultaneously in Ikeja and Festac areas of Lagos.