The Sexuality Blog: The Lagos state government just opened special sexual offences courts

Lagos state

While you might have your grievances with the Lagos state government and how it has treated disadvantaged persons within the state, especially disadvantaged women and children it has displaced in its quest to build a mega city, you cannot deny that the government has at least treated with the right amount of urgency, the growing scourge of sexual violence across the state. First off it created the Lagos Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT Lagos) a dedicated public service unit that actively pursues cases of domestic violence and sexual assault within the state, without discriminating across class lines. In the years since the DSVRT began operations in Lagos, it has successfully prosecuted several sexual offenders, provided respite to hundreds of victims and proven that sexual and domestic violence will not be tolerated within the state.

However, the DSVRT’s efforts have been largely hindered by the worryingly backlog of cases in Lagos’s traditional judicial courts, as well as the bureaucracy and corruption that allows many offenders circumvent the system and go free. It is in light of this and as a way to expedite proceedings that the Lagos State Government has opened Special and Sexual Offences Courts for victims of sexual violence across the state. First ladies Dolapo Osinbajo and Bolanle Ambode and Idiat Adebule, the deputy governor of the state were all on ground to commission the courts.

 

It will be interesting to see how these courts affect the rates of prosecution of sexual offenders in Lagos state and how it will affect the efficiency of the DSVRT. Eitherway, this is a major step in the right direction for women’s rights and we cannot be more proud of the Lagos state government.

Eko Oni Baje. 

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