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Speak up against domestic, sexual violence, Sanwo-Olu charges victims

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..Leads cabinet members, NGOs on a walk against menace

Speak up against domestic, sexual violence, Sanwo-Olu charges victims


By Olasunkanmi  Akoni

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Tuesday, has charged victims of domestic, sexual violence and other related gender-based abuses in the state not to keep quiet but report to relevant authorities for justice against perpetrators.
Sanwo-Olu gave the charge when he led his wife, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, cabinet members and some Non Governmental Organisations, NGOs, on a walk, tagged: “I say No to Domestic Violence,” organised by Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, DSVRT, in conjunction with Nigerian Bar Association Ikorodu Branch, held at the  state Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.
The governor and participants had a shot walk from the Deputy Governor’s main gate to Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.

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Speaking to participants at the end of the walk, Sanwo-Olu said, “We are just rounding up our walk for this very simple unique event. The United Nations has set aside for activities to mark violence against gender balance.
“And so, Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Justice and other arms of the government deemed it fit that we need to have this walk to further confirm and to indicate our full government support of our advocacy around the stop the child abuse, the advocacy around rape against women and girl, the talk around domestic violence, sexual violence, and all other vices that are around abuse of children.
“Our government, by this walk confirms that we are totally against it. We stand against everything that speaks to this issue. And we are going to ensure that we have zero tolerance against this.
“That is why we also have our Commissioner of Police here, it is a crime against humanity, it is a crime when you are caught that you have been involved either in rape, either in sexual violence, either in a child abuse, either in a domestic violence, in itself it is a crime.
“And so we are using this advocacy to warn and to tell people to desist from it, to stay clear from it, because the full arm of law will be brought to bear on anybody or any institution or in any form that you found wanting, and so that is why all have come here this morning resolute, members of the Executive Council are here, board of Permanent Secretaries are here, representative of the chief judge and other My Lord justices are here,  lots of law enforcement officers are here.
“Our colleagues from the various branches of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, various stakeholders that are NGOs and civil rights organisations that have advocates around this area are all here. It is just to further reinforce that to be fore warned is to be foreharmed, we are saying this and we are passing this message to everybody, that is about time we stop this manace,
“it is about time we live in a civil and civil society. And we need to end and ensure that people end the silence, come forth if informed that anything has happened to you, speak up and you can be rest assured that you will be protected and government will take up your issue. “

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The governor therefore, charged residents to report cases at various places of work, places of endeavours, churches, mosques, and propagate the advocacy across the local government areas.
He urged victims not to suffer in silence but call 112 toll free line, as well as 08137960048 or send a text to 6820 “and you can be rest assured that there is somebody on the other side that will pick up your case, and we will see to it that justice will be done in anyway where we will find anybody culpable.
“We are using this walk to reinforce it and to say that our government is against it and we are saying stop to all of these things.”
Also, speaking on the need to end sexual abuse which has been on steady rise, Founder Mirabel Centre, Mrs. Itoro Eze Anaba, a lawyer, writer and advocate against sexual abuse, said, “At Mirabel Centre, some days we have up to eight cases and in a month we have up to 100 new cases and on the average, we have over 80 cases, monthly for the past three to four years.
“We had over100 girls who are coming for treatment and the youngest that was brought to the centre was a three month old baby while oldest was an 80 year-old grandmother all for sexual abuse.”
Mirabel Centre is a project of partnership for Justice where rape and sexual assault victims can access free forensic medical and counseling services.

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