The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, says sexual violence, including rape and defilement, are among the most reported crimes in Lagos State.
Owoseni, therefore, called on the government and other relevant institutions to strengthen laws against the menace for the peace and stability of the society.
The police boss was quoted as saying this at a dinner organised by the Lagos State Domestic Violence Response Team in Lagos, according to a statement by the deputy governor’s spokesperson, Adesoye Oyelami, on Saturday.
However, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said creating laws was not the answer to tackling domestic violence. He said domestic abuse could only be curbed when members of the public report cases of violence to the appropriate authorities.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, said it was unfortunate that despite the fact that the state had created anti-domestic abuse laws, cases of abuse had continued to rise.
The statement added that the governor “regretted that despite the fact that the government has put effective legislation in place, domestic violence has continued to be a real tragedy that a lot of citizens face in our society, blaming it largely on ignorance and poor societal culture that will always encourage victims of domestic violence to be silent on their experience and the culture of always wanting to ignore or sweep under the carpet the reported cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse.”
At the event which was held to commemorate the Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the governor noted that what was required in ending domestic violence was more than relying on the legislation alone, stressing that there was the need for a sustained and coordinated approach among all relevant stakeholders to educate the public and strengthen the laws against domestic violence and reduce violent crimes.
Earlier in his welcome address, the 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 crimes such as rape, defilement, child abuse and domestic abuse.
The commissioner explained that the right of women and children to live a life free of violence depends on the protection of human rights which he said was the responsibility of the government and the society.