Lagos State Government, through the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), has organised a two-day training on the prevention and management of sexual assault for Doctors drawn from the State’s General Hospitals on best practices in the reportage of Domestic and Sexual Violence Cases (DSVC) brought to their facilities.
Welcoming participants to the programme held in Lagos, the Executive Secretary of DSVA, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi said the training was necessary to ensure that the best practices were engaged when SGBVs are reported in their facilities, which according to her would aid in the investigation of such cases when the detailed report is presented as evidence in court.
She urged the medical professionals to inform survivors of the State Government’s Sexual Intervention Fund, which provides access to free medical support and care at designated General Hospitals.
Speaking at the training programme, one of the facilitators and Administrator-General and Public Trustee of Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, emphasised the need for the availability of forensic facilities for evidence gathering and investigation to help enhance and hasten speedy dispensation of justice in domestic and sexual violence cases.
Mrs. Rotimi outlined the different forms of sexual assault and their respective punishment as applicable by law, reiterating that Rape, Defilement, and Sexual Assault by Penetration attract up to life imprisonment.
Also speaking, Dr. Omoera Victoria, the State’s Reproductive Health Coordinator, Lagos State Ministry of Health, delivered an exposé on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, highlighting the various struggles survivors face, such as post-trauma and social stigmatisation,
While stressing the need for the provision of psychosocial support services which would help boost survivors’ confidence, interaction and integration within society, Dr. Omoera advised health workers to be empathetic and show compassion towards survivors of the violence.
Ms. Avril Euewu Edero, a Forensic Investigator trained the medical personnel on what to look out for, gather and preserve as forensic evidence as soon as survivors present themselves at the health facilities.