Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said the menace of rape and other forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) must be completely stamped out from the society, adding that various initiatives have been put in place including strengthening of institutions to end the vices in the state.
Sanwo-Olu spoke yesterday at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, during the second community sensitization programme for non-governmental organisations and political groups organised by the Office of the First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, said in the last two years, significant gains have been recorded in the war against domestic and sexual violence.
“Institutions have been strengthened to respond appropriately, policies have been formulated and introduced in ensuring we provide holistic care and support to survivors, and we are also gradually ending the culture of impunity as evidenced in the convictions secured by the Ministry of Justice. In simple terms, we are indeed walking the talk.
“The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has now transformed into the Lagos State domestic and sexual violence agency, as well as the enactment of a law that now supports the sex offenders register.
“It is gratifying that the agency has leveraged technology through the introduction of the gender-based violence virtual and referral system which provides uninterrupted access to GBV services.
“In view of the public health implications as a result of the aftermath of Sexual Violence, the state government, under the Lagos State health insurance scheme has recently launched an intervention fund which now ensures survivors of sexual violence are able to access immediate medical attention at all primary health centers, general hospitals and designated private hospitals at no cost,” the Governor said.
Earlier, the wife the governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the wife of the deputy governor, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat, said the programme was aimed at discussing issues that are germane to the welfare and wellbeing of citizens, especially SGBV.
She said Lagos was delighted to join the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s 16 days of activism against SGBV as declared by the United Nations, with the theme: “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now!”