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If you are a Lagos parent, it is becoming imperative that you keep a close eye on your children because they may have been or will soon be sexually molested.
This is the result of global studies cited by the Lagos State Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo that one out of four girls or one out of 10 boys will be abused in the state before the age of 18.
Onigbanjo, who is Chairman, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), made this startling disclosure on Wednesday at a news conference in Ikeja to mark September as the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month.
Speaking at the conference, Onigbanjo said, ”Recent statistics conducted by the Lagos State Government in partnership with UNICEF reveals that one in four girls would be abused before the age of 18 years old. Also, one in 10 boys would be abused before the age of 18 years old.”
As a result of the findings, the DSVRT chairman said that the team had included ”Safeguarding and Child Protection Day”, as one of the activities for the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month in September 2021.
Ongbanjo said that it was of prime importance that children are engaged at all times to prevent them from falling prey to “paedophiles and perverts in the society”.
Children would soon be engaged via an interactive workshop to combat this disturbing trend.
According to the Commissioner, ”This would be an avenue to engage children drawn from both public and private schools on their rights and responsibilities. This programme would be led by trained peer educators, who have experience in gender relations, socialisation and sexual violence prevention. Aside from verbally engaging students on their rights and responsibilities, children would be equipped with relevant materials, textbooks and posters which can be displayed conspicuously on school premises.”
Since 2015, the DSVRT had commemorated the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month, which had traditionally been in the month of September to coincide with the month the team was established in 2014.
The theme of this year’s activities is ”Institutionalising Our Reforms”.
Onigbanjo said that this was formed as a result of the critical need to ensure that all interventions against child molestations were institutionalised.
He said that systems were being put in place to ensure that the state’s response to sexual and gender-based violence was well structured and service delivery fully optimal.