Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State at the weekend said the fight against domestic violence rampant in our society nowadays may not be achieved easily if we rely solely on legislation.
The governor rather advocated collaboration and sustained efforts among all stakeholders as well as constant sensitisation of the public on this dangerous trend.
Ambode spoke as a guest of honour at a special dinner organised by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, DSVRT, in Lagos to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
He noted that what was required to end domestic violence was more than relying on legislation alone, stressing that there was need for sustained, coordinated and multilevel approach among all relevant stakeholders, particularly the police, health workers, judiciary, education sector and people in the social services.
According to him, adequate sensitisation of the public and strengthening of the laws against domestic violence can reduce domestic violence and other related crimes to the barest minimum.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, the governor regretted that despite that government had put effective legislations in place, domestic violence has continued to be a real challenge for lots of our citizenry.
He blamed it largely on ignorance and poor societal culture that always encourages victims of domestic violence to be silent on their experience while the cases are either ignored or swept under the carpet.
Ambode, while reaffirming the commitment of his administration to reduction of domestic violent crimes through regular conviction of perpetrators of such crimes to serve as a deterrent to others, noted that our law enforcement, justice, women, health and social development systems must work tirelessly to hold offenders accountable for their crimes. He also urged them to always ensure that adequate protection is given to victims of domestic violence and their children.
Earlier in his welcome address, the state Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Kazeem Adeniji, explained that the Lagos Domestic and Sexual violence Response Team was established in September 2014 to increase victims’ safety by providing a cross jurisdictional response which is uniform in approach in responding to all forms of Sexual Gender Based Violence crimes; including rape, defilement, child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault among others.
The commissioner noted that violence against women and children has tremendous effects on communities, nations, societies because of its social and negative implications on public well being, health, safety, productivity and the like noting that if the menace is left unaddressed, it poses serious danger to peace and security of the society, adding that there is evidence to prove that children who have witnessed or been subjected to violence are more likely to become victims or abusers themselves.
Source: National Mirror Nigeria