The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) has called on men who are victims of domestic and sexual violence to break the culture of silence and share their experiences.
At the launch of “The Hidden Crime, Violence Against Men” project held in Alausa, the Executive Secretary of DSVA, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, emphasized the importance of engaging men to recognize that they can also be victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
Addressing the audience of over 300 men, Vivour-Adeniyi highlighted their crucial role in the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the state. She revealed that recent community engagements in over 10 Local Government Areas had identified the need for awareness and support for men who have experienced Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
The project aims to ensure that the agency’s advocacy, prevention, and response mechanisms leave no gender behind, emphasizing the agency’s determination to break the culture of silence that perpetuates Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in society.
Vivour-Adeniyi further emphasized that Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his inaugural speech on May 29th, 2023, added “PLUS” to the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, representing Social Inclusion, Gender Equality, and Youths. This addition reflects the recognition that Sexual and Gender-Based Violence is a barrier to achieving gender equality.
Speaking at the event, the Agency’s Community Engagement Officer, Ikudaisi Oluwatobi, encouraged men to speak up and report any cases of sexual violence in their communities, emphasizing the importance of eliminating this menace from the state.
Oluwatobi explained that the agency’s statutory mandate is to educate, raise awareness, and ensure that the government’s stance is implemented through its various programs. The project launch aimed to increase awareness of the prevalence of Gender-Based Violence in Lagos.
Babatunde Semiu, the Assistant Secretary of Lagos State Parks and Garages Administrator (LASPAGA), suggested that the agency establish offices in each Local Government Area to effectively address gender-based violence. This effort would contribute to reducing the alarming trend of abusive cases in society and prevent cases of sexual and domestic violence against men.