The wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday raised alarm over the increasing rate of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the state.
Speaking during a press conference and stakeholders forum on the 2020 Gender Based Violence Week campaign, Sanwo-Olu warned that anyone involved in the act would be prosecuted.
The theme of the global campaign is, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!´´.
She urged victims of GBV to speak up, as government was ready to fight against such act.
Reeling out statistics, Sanwo-Olu said that as captured by Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), the reported cases of domestic violence in the state from January till date stood at 268.
She said that unreported cases were in thousands because of stigmatisation.
“From the Directorate of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice, number of rape cases in the state from January 2020 to date is 268, number of cases charged to court 213.
“In the statistics presented by the Inspector General of Police earlier in the year during the lockdown, rape cases recorded was 717,´´ she said.
The governor’s wife said that the press conference was to unveil activities lined up in furtherance of the Lagos State Gender-Based Violence Week, designed to scale up awareness and galvanise action.
She said that this was with the view to ensuring eradication of the menace of violence against women and girls in the state.
According to her, the advocacy week is being championed through a collaborative effort between the Office of Lagos State First Lady and critical stakeholders.
The stakeholders include the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Lagos State Judiciary, and the Nigeria Police Force.
She said that it was also in line with the cause being championed by the 36 First Ladies in Nigeria, via their forum, to collectively end rape in the country.
The advocacy week is also in line with the global 16 Days of Activism of the United Nations, which is an annual campaign to end violence against women.
Sanwo-Olu said that the international campaign, scheduled to kick off on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, would run until Dec. 10, which is Human Rights Day.
“It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership as a veritable platform of organising strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
“The theme was necessitated by the challenges we have had to contend with this year as a result of the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, which effectively altered life as we used to know it, and ensured an unanticipated lockdown not just in Nigeria, but across the world.
“As all efforts were geared toward battling COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of an already-existing pandemic of rape and violence against women and children was relegated to the background.
“The result was a worrisome and alarming spike in rape cases across the country,´´ she said.
The wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Oluremi Hamzat, urged members of the public to join the effort of the state government to drastically reduce the menace of rape and all forms of gender-based violence.