Sexual violence: Lagos trains judges, magistrates on best practices for adjudication

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The Lagos State Government, through its Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), on Wednesday trained judges and magistrates on best practices for adjudicating Sexual and Gender Based Violence cases in the state.

Speaking during the training, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, said that there was the need to tackle sexual and gender based violence cases through a hands-on holistic approach, via intensive training for stakeholders .

Alogba said that the availability of forensic facilities for evidence, investigation and gathering; aggressive sensitisation against social stigmatisation of victims/survivals would go a long way to boost confidence of the victims to report.

He also said that the provisions of psychosocial support services; facilitation of support group counselling for survivors would further boost their confidence and integration into the society.

The Chief Judge raised concerns on the protection of witnesses in court, encouraging the government to provide technology gadgets to interview or collect witness statements either virtually or physically.

Alogba said that more in-house training would posit for timely/prompt adjudication of justice.

Also speaking, the Solicitor General, Ministry of Justice, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, commended DSVA’s successful provision of immense support and assistance to victims/survivors of domestic and Sexual crimes, particularly children and women in obnoxious environment.

Shitta-Bey said that the increasing rate of cases received and handled by the DSVA were causes of concern to the state.

She said that the menace of SGBV required a holistic collaborative effort, as survivors deserved to be treated delicately and with empathy at all stages of the criminal process, taking into cognisance their traumatic and psychological state.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), Mrs Lola Vivour-Adeniyi, said that the training was most compelling at the time as SGBV cases were on the rise.

Viviour-Adeniyi said that the objective was to address easy access to justice and faster delivering to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

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