An advocacy group, Child Protection Network (CPN) has harped on the need for an end to victim-blaming and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the Nigerian society.
This call was made by the Chairman of CPN, Ronke Oyelakin at the fifth local council town hall meeting, organised by Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) in Mushin, to address rising cases of domestic and sexual violence across the state.
She said victim-blaming could discourage survivors from reporting incidents of violence, urging residents to be active bystanders and exposers of abusers.
The town hall meeting with the theme: “It’s On Us To End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence”, took place at Mushin Local Council headquarters and came on the heels of the state’s heightening awareness about domestic and sexual violence amongst members of the community.
Executive Secretary of DSVA, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, who reeled out statistics on the prevalence of SGBV in Mushin Local Council, stressed the need for all participants to join hands with government in the fight against domestic and sexual violence.
While educating participants on provisions of the laws and support services available to victims and survivors, she said the town hall meetings would be held in all the L.G.As and LCDAs across the state.
The Chairman of Mushin Local Council, Emmanuel Bamigboye, represented by his Special Assistant, Babatunde John Kehinde, encouraged residents to speak up if they are subjected to violence in their relationships to curb the rate of violence in the society.
Also, Adolescent Focal Person of the Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Adeola Obasanya, educated participants on the medical centres available to survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Mushin.
They include Ayantuga Primary Health Centre (PHC), Mushin PHC and Palm Avenue PHC. She charged sexual assault survivors to report within 72 hours to any of the hospitals for free medical attention.
Over 200 stakeholders drawn from Community Development Associations (CDAs) and Councils, Community Development (CDCs), religious leaders notably the Chief Imam of Mushin, Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria, Mushin Branch, traditional rulers including market men and women, the National Youth Council of Nigeria, artisans, captains of industries among others were present at the meeting.
One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of plaques to local councils in recognition of their commitment to ending SGBV in their councils.
The toll-free line for reporting domestic and sexual violence cases (08000333333) was inscribed on memorabilia, which was distributed to all participants.