The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said in the last one year it handled a total of 4, 035 cases ranging from rape, child abuse, sexual assault, sexual abuse, defilement, divorce, matrimonial issues and child’s custody and maintenance, just as it vowed not to shy away from prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence crime no matter how highly placed in the society.
The State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, who disclosed this during a press briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa on the activities of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) in the last one year, said government, through the agency, equally handled a total of 192 cases.
Out of the 192 cases, Mr. Kazeem said the government handled 89 domestic violence cases, 62 defilement case, 18 rape cases, 6 attempted rape, 10 child neglect and 7 child abuse cases, while 92 cases are presently being heard in court
Mr. Kazeem said the state government under the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had zero tolerance for issues relating to domestic violence and child abuse and would not relent until the scourge is reduced to the barest minimum.
He said agencies of government, including DSVRT, Office of Public Defender (OPD) and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), among others, have been mandated to ensure that while perpetrators of the act are brought to justice, victims of domestic violence are given succor towards their rehabilitation.
“As regards provision of shelter for victims, the Ministries of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Youth and Social Development as well as strategic partners NGOs have played key roles in ensuring that victims were evacuated to a safer environment of shelter homes.
“All the victims of sexual assault received medical attention from Mirabel Centre and State Hospitals, and so far, 50 of such cases were charged to court,” he said.
He said the essence of the press briefing today aside giving account of efforts of the State Government in the one year, it was also a means to send a strong message across that the government would not relent until the scourge is completely stamped out.
“As we all know the issues of gender violence, violence against children and all forms of inhuman treatment against the less privileged has been a very critical issue for Governor Ambode. Right from when he was sworn in, he had said that this issue was going to be something he would pursue with passion and diligence. He has since then given support to the DSVRT, OPD and all other related agencies including the Police Force to fight this scourge in other that it should be eliminated.
“Let me sound a note of warning here that no matter how highly placed you are in the society, if you commit any domestic violence crime, Lagos State will go after you and prosecute you in court,” the Attorney General said.
He assured that the State Government would continue to build on its recent efforts and step up its campaign efforts to put the issue of domestic violence on the front burner.
To this end, he said the DSVRT would on Friday, June 3, hold a free clinic for victims of domestic violence, rape at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa Secretariat, while they can seek counselling with trained professionals via their hotline on 08137960048.