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Gender-based violence in Lagos worries Mrs. Sanwo-Olu

Ayodele Olalere

 Wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has expressed worries over increase in the rate of Gender Based Violence in the state, warning that anyone involved in the act would be prosecuted.

She expressed the worries and raised the alarm, on Tuesday, at a press conference

To mark the 2020 Gender Based Violence Week campaign with the theme, ”Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!” urged victims to speak up against the menace.

She said statistics revealed  reported cases of domestic violence in the state from January till date stood at 268 as captured by Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), adding ‘unreported cases are in thousands because of stigmatisation.’

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“From the Directorate of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice, rape cases in the state from January 2020 to date number of  268, while number of cases charged to court stood at 213. The statistics presented by the Inspector General of Police earlier in the year during the lockdown, rape cases recorded was 717.

‘’This Press conference is to unveil activities we have lined up in furtherance of the Lagos State Gender-Based Violence Week designed to scale up awareness and galvanize action. This is with the view to ensuring eradication of the menace of violence against women and girls in our dear state,” she said.

She added, “The Advocacy Week is being championed through a collaborative effort between the Office of Lagos State First Lady and critical stakeholders including the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Lagos State Judiciary, and the Nigerian Police Force.

“It is also in line with the cause being championed by the 36 First Ladies in Nigeria, via their forum, to collectively end rape in the country, as well as the global 16 Days of Activism of the United Nations, which is an annual campaign to end violence against women.”

The First Lady added that the international campaign, scheduled to kick off on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, will run until December 10, which is Human Rights Day.

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“It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership as a veritable platform of organizing strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

“The theme was necessitated by the challenges we have had to contend with this year as a result of the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, which effectively altered life as we used to know it, and ensured an unanticipated lockdown not just in Nigeria, but across the world.

“As all efforts were geared toward battling Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of an already-existing pandemic of rape and violence against women and children was relegated to the background, and the result was a worrisome and alarming spike in rape cases across the country,” she said.