By Josephine Agbonkhese
The Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, Cecilia Dada, has called on the Police to ensure the provision of maximum support for social workers working to tackle gender-based violence, GBV, across the state.
Dada spoke while fielding questions from Vanguard at a one-day training on GBV organised by the Domestic Violence Unit of WAPA in conjunction with UN Women Spotlight Initiative, for civil society organisations and the 57 LG/LCDA WAPA Heads of Department, HODs, in the state.
She lamented that social workers often get frustrated by the Police when trying to help victims of GBV who come to them for intervention.
The commissioner also implored the WAPA HODs to, in turn, retrain their subordinates on what constitutes GBV, professional ways of responding to cases, as well as legal implications involved.
According to her, the essence of the training was to enable them adequately help victims at the grassroots level, without such victims having to go through the trouble of coming to the Alausa, the state’s secretariat.
Facilitators at the event, Funmilola Peter-Popoola, Assistant Director, Child Development, Lagos State Ministry of Youth & Social Development; Oluwatoyin Odusanya, Director, Directorate for Citizens Rights, Lagos State Ministry of Justice; and Efe Anaughe, President, Warien Rose Foundation.
They submitted that no case should be treated as a family affair, asserting that every case of GBV is a case against the state which must not be swept under the carpet or neglected.
According to Odusanya, LG/LCDA social workers must ensure they follow-up on referred cases and seek ways of meeting the needs of victims, including the need for shelter, which has already being provided for by the state government.