The Lagos State Government through its Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency says 1,108 men have reported being domestically abused in six years.
The DSVA Executive Secretary, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, made this known on Thursday at the unveiling of ”The Hidden Crime, Violence Against Men” initiative at Ikeja.
Vivour-Adeniyi said the initiative was to encourage male folks to speak up, as they also experienced different kinds of violence.
She said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his inaugural speech on May 29, informed Lagos residents of the addition of ‘PLUS’ into the THEMES Agenda.
The ‘PLUS’, the DSVA scribe said, represented Social Inclusion, Gender Equality and Youth.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the acronym, T.H.E.M.E.S, represents the six pillars of the State’s strategic development agenda.
They are Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism, as well as Security and Governance”.
According to the DSVA scribe, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence is one of the greatest hindrances to achieving gender equality.
”It is, therefore, for these reasons, that the agency deemed it expedient to conceptualise this project – The Hidden Crime, Violence against Men.
”We believe that this will be an opportunity to continue to break the culture of silence, which encourages SGBV to thrive. Indeed, men and boys can be victims of domestic and sexual violence.
”A detailed overview of the data recorded over the past six years, revealed that 1,108 men have reported incidents of domestic violence.
“This, however, does not include male children that have experienced one form of GBV or the other,” she said.
The executive secretary disclosed that the agency’s recently concluded community engagement in over 10 local government areas revealed that Lagos’ residents believed that there had been less enlightenment and spotlight on men who were SGBV victims or survivors.
”We are also mindful of the research we conducted in 2016 in partnership with the Nigerian Prisons Service as they were referred to then.
“That research revealed that out of the 140 sex convicts, 80.5 per cent of them said they were sexually abused at an early age, some as young as 6 years old and as such were exposed to unhealthy sexual relationships.
”Majority of them did not receive psycho-social support and as such, they began abusing others, thereby revealing the abused-abuser trend.
”It is, therefore, important that the male folk are aware of this; there is no shame in their pain.
“It is also compelling to inform men of the different forms of violence and the support services that the state government has put in place to proactively address these issues.
”We also have a duty to engage men to realise that they play a most crucial role in the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence,” she said.
Vivour-Adeniyi said the agency had a mission to ensure that no gender was left behind in its advocacy, preventive and response mechanisms.
She said that it already had an inclusive response team in the office and would in the course of the month, engage men in all aspects of the state.
The DSVA Community Engagement Officer, Tobi Ikudaisi said that in 2022, a total of 281 men came to the agency to report one form of violence or the other against them.
Ikudaisi said that a lot of men had not been bold enough to speak up, as they felt they might be ridiculed by society.
He, therefore, encouraged them to speak up against violence meted out on them, so that lives could be saved.
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