The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has reiterated its zero tolerance to Gender-Based Violence, noting that there is a need to combat Domestic Violence and enhance Emergency Response.

The Commissioner for WAPA, Mrs. Bolaji Cecilia Dada stated this during the Y2024 Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the first anniversary of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second term in office on Tuesday at Alausa, Ikeja, emphasising that the essence of the initiative is to curb domestic violence against women in the state and urged victims to speak up.

She pointed out the need to improve the response to calls by victims and concerned residents due to the rising number of domestic violence cases, stressing that it is imperative to ensure that victims have access to immediate and effective support.

In her words, “The Ministry has held several sensitisation programmes across the State. We have sensitised many young mothers on gender-based violence and how to report cases. Domestic violence is a pervasive issue that affects individuals of all backgrounds. It encompasses physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse, as well as economic coercion. The impact on victims can be devastating, leading to long-term psychological trauma, physical injury, and in severe cases, death”.

Dada said the Ministry initiated the Purple Project under the Domestic Violence Unit to have an adequate response to issues of SGBV and provide immediate support to those who call the toll-free lines 767 and 112 of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA). The helpline is dedicated to providing immediate assistance to victims of domestic violence through trained professionals who will offer support, information and guidance to the caller.

The Commissioner revealed that the Ministry, in partnership with LASEMA and local enforcement agencies, is determined to ensure a swift response to domestic violence cases. We are also training social officers on handling situations with sensitivity and urgency, just as we have equipped them with Android mobile devices to enable them to respond to calls".

According to her, the Ministry’s report showed a total of 662 cases of domestic violence calls, male Domestic Violence matters received were male 27 while female 247. Four cases were referred to the Ministry of Justice and many of the victims have been supported and empowered by the state government.

"We will continue to host workshops, advocacy, mediation, counselling, employment, medical assistance and sensitisation programmes to educate our women on recognising signs of abuse and understanding the resources available for victims", she added.

While informing that the Ministry has also initiated outreach programmes like vocational training and skill acquisition programmes for victims, Dada averred that there is an ongoing collaboration with NGOs, civil societies and key stakeholders in society on activism campaigns against gender-based violence.

She, therefore, charged all victims of domestic violence and sexual-related abuses to report such cases to the Ministry for necessary support and care.

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