Lagos recorded over 2,000 cases of child abuse in 2020 - Report

Posted by News Express | 3 June 2021 | 645 times

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 Lagos recorded over 2,000 cases of child in 2020, according to a data submitted by the Child Protection Network to the Lagos state Ministry of Youths and Social Development.

Revealing the alarming rise in the cases of child abuse in the State, the data alerted that no fewer than 2,674 children suffered the menace since 2020 till date.

Giving the breakdown, the report said that 2,154 (2020) and 520 (2021) cases between 2020 and April 2021.

The data further said that sexual (defilement, rape, assault) abuse of children share the highest occurrence at 1005 and 213 in 2020 and 2021 respectively, followed by physical violence which the figure was put at 376 and 94 in both years correspondingly.

This revelation emerged at an ongoing four-day media dialogue with journalists on ethical reporting and advocacy to Eliminate Violence against Women and Girls organised by Spotlight Initiative Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Giving further breakdown, the report said 143 (2020)and 45 (2021) children who were lost but found, while 150 and 42 of them suffered child labour within the same period, separately.

The number of people who suffered neglect and emotional abuse were 164 (2020) and 44 (2021), while the number of parents who were seeking shelter for their children was put at 195 (2020) and 52 (2021).

Reacting to the trend, Foluke Omoworare, Coordinator, Spotlight Initiative Lagos, noted that children are often violated by people that know them.

Omoworare said, “For Women, perpetrators are mostly spouses and intimate partners (36 percent of ever married women have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence in the hand of their spouses).

“For children, perpetrators are people that are known to them (parent, caregiver,
teacher, neighbour, etc.)”

She also stated that, one in four girls have experienced sexual violence, adding that, violence is rarely an isolated incident and majority of children surveyed experienced violence on the home.

According to her, women and girls with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence of any form.

Also speaking during the meeting, Mr Waheed Ishola, Director, National Orientation Agency, Lagos, said the media dialogue is to beam the spotlight on women and girls, stressing that the focus is to address the negative socio-cultural norms attached to reporting cases of violence.

Ishola said some of the perceived reasons for prevalence of abuse of women and girls includes, “Poverty, indecent dressing among adolescent girls, missing parental care, quest for money, fame and political position by women.”

Others include “Neglect of family values, inability of men to manage their home, illicit drug/substance abuse, ritualistic purposes, fear of stigmatisation.”

Ishola however urged the media to address the negative socio-cultural norms attached to reporting cases of violence.

Earlier, Muhammad Okorie, the Chief of Operations, UNICEF Lagos, said violence against women is a global issue, adding that, this trend threatens women to achieving their full potential.

“Before 25 years, a girl must have been violated either sexually or physically. If we do not end violence against women, we can reduce it to the nearest minimum.

“The meeting is to ensure that we end VAWG. The media has a vintage position to reach a larger audience since they have more access through their report to speak to stakeholders,” Okorie stated.

“I urged the media to use their vantage position to reach a larger audience to put up reports that would speak to stakeholders as well as policy makers to act,” he added.

Olasunmbo Daniel, Assistant director, Ministry of Youth and Social Development,
said the Ministry works collaboratively and effectively with partners in different capacity to ensure violence is reduced to the barest minimum in the society.

In implementing the Spotlight Initiative, Daniel said the progress report for Lagos state include; capacity building and strengthening of 156 Child Protection Stakeholders; Social Welfare Officers, Health Officers, Education Officers, Legal Officers, Police Officers, Civil Society Organisations, volunteers which have been carried out at different times, in the last two years.

“The training of 23 Family Court functionaries; judges, magistrates and assessors was put on hold as a result of the nationwide strike,” he said.  (Daily Independent)

Source: News Express

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