The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) at the weekend embarked on several activities all geared towards ensuring a holistic response to Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the State in line with the mandate of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration.
Coordinator of the DSVRT, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said the team in partnership with Justice 4 All (J4A), on Friday, February 12, facilitated a one-day training for State Counsel in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions on best practices for child interviewing and examination of a child in court.
She said the training was useful as majority of the sexual assault cases currently prosecuted at the High Court involves child victims.
“The essence of the training was to assist in ensuring that best practices are implemented for the purpose of avoiding re-traumatisation of the victims and increasing conviction rates,” she said.
Similarly, Mrs. Vivour-Adeniyi said the team also in partnership with the Pastor Bimbo Odukoya Foundation continued its Rape Prevention and Sexual Harassment drive for higher institutions which saw over 5,000 Lagos State University (LASU) students engaged during the University’s orientation week.
“The selection of this period was instructive, as statistics reveal that fresher students are more susceptible to be sexually harassed or assaulted in their first year of university. They therefore need to be armed with information and tips on how to stay safe on campus.
“The issue of consent was also discussed, with key focus on the major significance of consent in relationships and it was emphasized to the students why consent must never be ignored or misinterpreted in relationships,” the DSVRT Coordinator said.
She said the team also seized the occasion to distribute its Sexual Assault Prevention Manual for Higher Institutions to the students present, saying the manual encapsulates all the issues raised at the interaction.
Mrs. Vivour-Adeniyi said the Team was also privileged to engage National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members on domestic violence as a focus area.
“Details shared with corps members include support services like shelter and the different legal redress which are available to victims. They were also enlightened on the role the community plays in curbing this menace, and the criminal implications of attempts to cover up domestic violence related offences,” she said.
She said the Team also charged the Corps members present to see themselves as change agents and activists in the fight against sexual and gender based violence in the state.