Lagos State government, on Wednesday, revealed that about 1578 children have experienced emotional abuse in the last 11 months in the state.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, who revealed this during a media briefing to kick off the domestic and sexual violence awareness month, stated that 55 per cent of these children have been taken through counselling programmes to ensure they are able to psychologically deal with the events they have witnessed without the experience having a permanent and negative impact on them.
The commissioner said the youngest child that experienced sexual violence in the year under review was 8 months, whilst the oldest client that experienced domestic violence was a 75-year-old woman and an 89-year-old man.
He said from September 1st 2021 to July 31st 2022, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency handled 4860 cases which are into two categories, adults and children.
According to him: “The breakdown of the cases is as follows: 2029 Domestic Violence; 65 Rape; 40 Sexual Assault;10 Attempt to commit rape; 5 Sexual Assault by penetration; 73 threat to life; 488 others that included separation, not taking responsibilities of the child(ren), neglect, custody of the child, among others; 113 Child Abuse/Physical Assault; 194 Defilement cases; 15 Defilement/Molestation by Minor to Minor; 105 Child Labour, Abduction Neglect/Others and 145 Sexual harassment/molestation cases.”
“We have also witnessed an increase in reporting of cases from other States; mostly from Ogun, Abia, Anambra and others respectively. In the past 11 months, a total of 394 cases occurred outside Lagos. Such cases are promptly referred to the relevant agencies in their respective states.
“The Office of the Public Defender as well as the Lagos Public Interest Law Partnership (LPILP) has provided free legal representation to 110 survivors of Domestic Violence, ranging from Judicial Separation, Divorce, Maintenance, Custody of children and Settlement.
“All the survivors of Sexual Assault received medical attention from Comprehensive Primary Health Care Centres, General Hospitals and Sexual Assault Referral Centres like Mirabel Centre, Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) as well as Idera Centre.
“In the period under review, the Agency has provided services to 9 Persons with Disabilities who were experiencing one form of Gender Based Violence or the other.”