Residents of Oshodi Isolo Local Government have declared a zero tolerance to all forms of Sexual and Gender based violence in the State.This declaration was made during the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence outreach to Oshodi Isolo local government in a bid to address the rising cases of domestic and sexual violence across the State
The town hall meeting themed “It’s on us to End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence” which took place at Oshodi Isolo local government on Wednesday,23rd of March, 2022 is designed to heighten awareness about domestic and sexual violence amongst members of the community, inform them of the provisions of the laws and support services available for victims and survivors.
Addressing the gathering, the Executive Secretary of DSVA, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi reiterated the need for all participants to see themselves as mandated reporters, charging them that if they see something, they have a duty to say something and do something.
She emphasized that the goal of the outreach is to raise awareness about sexual and gender-based violence, as well as issues regarding child abuse whilst making reference to DSVA’s data over the years of the increase in formal and informal reporting of incidents of rape, domestic violence and child abuse from Oshodi-Isolo LGA.
The Chairman of Oshodi Isolo Local Government, Hon. Kayode Oloyede Almaroof who was ably represented by the Vice Chairman, Hon. Mrs. Modupe Badmus encouraged people to speak up if they are subjected to violence in their relationships in order to curb the rate of violence in the society.
She added that parents especially mothers should always pay attention and listen to their children so that they can confide in them when they face abuse.
At the town hall meeting, A survivor of domestic violence who pleaded anonymity shared her story of intimate partner violence of how she had experienced various forms of abuse including physical, emotional, and financial abuse by her spouse. She however revealed how she was able to overcome these obstacles with the assistance of the DSVA and has now become empowered and has empowered others as well.
She noted that all her children including the females who faced discrimination by her husband not to further their education because of their gender are now educated.
Mrs. Atinuke Odukoya, the Executive Director of the Centre for Women’s Health Information, enlightened the audience on the various forms of Sexual and Gender Based violence whilst urging people to stop victim blaming as this could discourage victims from reporting incidences of violence. Rather she encouraged residents of Oshodi Isolo to be active bystanders and expose abusers.
On her part, Dr Obasanya, Adolescent Focal Person of the Primary Health Care Board informed participants of the medical centres available to survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Oshodi-Isolo some of which include Isolo General Hospital, Oshodi PHC, Iyana- Ejigbo PHC, Ilasa PHC. She charged sexual assault survivors to report immediately to any of these hospital to seek medical attention for free.
The meeting had in attendance over 200 stakeholders drawn from Community Development Association and Councils, Community Development Authorities, religious leaders notably the Chief Imam of Oshodi Isolo, Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria, Isolo Branch, traditional rulers including his Royal Majesty, Oba Adesina, Elewu of Elewu Kingdom, market men and women such as the Iya Loja of Oshodi Isolo, the National Youth Council of Nigeria, artisans, captains of industries as well as other relevant stakeholders.
The toll-free line for reporting domestic and sexual violence cases (08000333333) was inscribed on memorabilia which was distributed to all participants.
One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of plaques to the local governments in recognition of their commitment towards ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence in their LGAs and LCDAs.
Recall that the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency commenced Local Government Town Hall Meetings on Sexual and Gender-based Violence in January, 2022 at Surulere Local government.
The town hall meetings would be held in all the LGAs and LCDAs across the State.