Sanwo-Olu’s wife raises the alarm over rising gender-based violence in Lagos

Wife of Lagos State governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, raised the alarm over the increasing rate of gender-based violence in the state, warning that anyone involved in the act would be prosecuted.

Sanwo-Olu gave this warning while speaking at a press conference on the 2020 Gender-Based Violence Week campaign with the theme, ‘Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!’ urging victims to speak up against the menace.

According to the governor’s wife, reported cases of domestic violence in the state from January till date stood at 268 as captured by Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), saying that unreported cases were in thousands because of stigmatization, just as she disclosed that a number of cases charged to court stood at 213.

“From the Directorate of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice rape cases in the state from January 2020 to date, number of are 268, number of cases charged to court 213.

“The statistics presented by the Inspector General of Police earlier in the year during the lockdown, rape cases recorded was 717,” Sanwo-Olu said.

She said the press conference was to unveil activities already lined up in furtherance of the Lagos State Gender-Based Violence Week designed to scale up awareness and galvanise action, adding that it was to ensuring eradication of the menace of violence against women and girls in the state.

“The Advocacy Week is being championed through a collaborative effort between the Office of Lagos State First Lady and critical stakeholders, including the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Lagos State Judiciary, and the Nigerian Police Force.

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“It is also in line with the cause being championed by the 36 First Ladies in Nigeria, via their forum, to collectively end rape in the country, as well as the global 16 Days of Activism of the United Nations, which is an annual campaign to end violence against women,” she said.

She added that the international campaign, scheduled to kick off on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, would run until December 10, which is Human Rights Day.

“It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership as a veritable platform of organizing strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls,” Sanwo-Olu recalled.

“The theme was necessitated by the challenges we have had to contend with this year as a result of the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, which effectively altered life as we used to know it, and ensured an unanticipated lockdown not just in Nigeria, but across the world.

“As all efforts were geared toward battling COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of an already- existing pandemic of rape and violence against women and children was relegated to the background, and the result was a worrisome and alarming spike in rape cases across the country,” she lamented.


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