The Lagos State Government held a Strategic Engagement with 50 Traditional Rulers in the State to further drive the awareness on Domestic and Sexual Violence in their respective kingdoms.
This was done in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Executive Secretary of DSVA, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi at the event said the need to engage the Traditional rulers on issues relating to Gender-Based Violence has become imperative as they play a vital role in swift response and prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Vivour-Adeniyi stated that the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared zero tolerance for all forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and it is important that everyone plays their role on the same page in addressing the menace.
She said “Today we stand united with our traditional Rulers as key stakeholders with collective commitment to eradicate Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. You play a pivotal role in shaping the cultural and social fabric of our communities, your involvement is essential in spreading awareness debunking stereotypes and fostering an environment that rejects Violence.
“As royal majesties, you are trusted figures in the communities and in the different kingdoms that you represent, you have power to inspire change. By actively engaging with you, we know that you will be able to influence attitude, encourage open dialogue and champion Initiatives that promote respect and equality”.
“Together, our Traditional Rulers, you are integral to the success of our mission. Your commitment and involvement underscore the significance of eradicating sexual and gender-based violence, creating a society where everyone can thrive in safety and dignity.”
She added that the agency attended to some critical situations on sexual abuse last year which called for urgent attention in that space.
During her presentation, titled; Sexual and Domestic Violence: It’s Our Collective Responsibility, Mrs Ibidunni Alakija, took the traditional rulers through the rudiment of Sexual and Domestic Violence, how to identify different forms of sexual violence and ways to address them in their various communities.
She said that the agency offers medical assistance, rescue operations, legal assistance, law enforcement, psychosocial support (counselling) and emergency assistance, as well as empowerment.
Mr. Babatunde Afuwape, representing HRH, Oba Kasali Semiudeen – Adeboruwa of Igbogbo Kingdom spoke on the roles of Traditional Rulers on Preventing Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Lagos State and proposed various ways on how Traditional Rulers can intervene to stem the tide in preventing the menace in their communities.
Responding on behalf of other Monarchs, the Olofin Ajaiye of Orugbo Ido, Oba Adewale Abdul called for concerted effort by the state, local governments and traditional rulers to be able to address the menace of Gender-Based Violence.
He lauded the initiative of the DSVA as well as other partners aimed at eradicating the menace while seeking support of citizens to enable government achieve the goals of putting a halt to the cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Lagos state.
Other participants at the strategic meeting suggested whistle blowing mechanisms and the need for continuous sensitisation in the communities.
A call was made for punitive measures on those that involved in unscrupulous acts within the communities as this will serve as deterrent to others who may want to tow that same path.