How to report sexual & child abuse, domestic violence in Nigeria

Ezekiel Kuti: scarred with hot iron allegedly by his step mother in Lagos

The Lagos State Government leads the rest of Nigeria in tackling issues of sexual abuse, child abuse and domestic violence, now on the rise in the country. 

Lagos has set up the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) and in 2018 alone, handled over 4,000 cases. 

In other parts of Nigeria, sexual abuse cases are handled by a panoply of NGOs. 

A directory to contact them has been curated by The Book Banque writers. 

The Lagos owned DSVRT office is in the Secretariat, in Alausa, Ikeja.

To reach the unit, complainants can dial 112, 08137960048 or send an E-mail to info@dsvrtlagos.org.

On its website, DSVRT has a template that can be filled and sent electronically to the agency. Just click ‘Report It‘ button and you are on cue to report any incident. 

In addition there are 12 Sexual Assault Reference Centres in police stations in the state, where complaints can be lodged.

DSVRT says that there are trained police officers that handle matters with utmost confidentiality and professionalism. The centres are in:
Adeniji Adele, Lagos Island, Isokoko Agege, Ilupeju, Festac , Alakuko , Badagry, Ajah , Ikorodu (Igbogbo) , Ketu , Ikotun, Gender Desk, Police Command, GRA and Ikeja Divisional Police Station (Area F).

DSVRT is a collection of professional service providers and officials that respond as a group and in a timely fashion to the various needs of domestic and sexual violence survivors by providing legal, medical, emergency assistance, Counselling and psychological and psycho social support.

It is to encourage and create unprecedented level of collaboration among professionals working to end sexual and Gender Based Violence.

Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) is an organisation under Lagos state Government committed to ensuring total eradication of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the State.

Its mission is to provide sensitive services to victims of domestic and sexual violence while promoting healthy relationships as we strive to enhance our coordinated community response to domestic and sexual violence in Lagos State and indeed in Nigeria.

DSVRT website debunks some myths and notions about sexual and child abuse, rape and domestic violence.

For instance, some debunked myths about domestic violence:

Myth: Domestic violence is due to poverty or lack of education. Fact: Domestic violence is common throughout all levels of society, whether rich or poor. It is often easier to keep the violence hidden when a person has money and important friends, but it happens nonetheless. There is no evidence to support the idea that uneducated or poor people are more likely to abuse their wives or partners than are more educated and affluent people.

Myth: Domestic abuse is a one-off incident. Fact: Very rarely is abuse a one-off. Most often it is part of an ongoing means of establishing and maintaining control over another person. Abuse tends to increase both in velocity and extent over a period of time.

DSVRT also tore the notion that Rape is caused by the perpetrator’s uncontrollable sexual urge.

” Fact: Rape is an act of power and control, not sex. In addition, one of the biggest myths about rape is that it happens out of sexual desire. Sexual assault is highly sexualized in our society due to the link between sex and violence prevalent in our culture. Many people have sexual desires, but not everyone commits sexual assault.”

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