The Lagos State Government, through its Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), says 75 per cent of survivors have prior knowledge of their partners’ abusive behaviour before marriage.
Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), said this during an engagement with members of Association of Professional Wedding Engagement Coordinators of Nigeria (APWECON), Lagos State.
She said that in spite of being aware of their partners’ abusive behaviour, some survivors still went ahead to get married to such people, hence, having abusive marriages.
According to her, while DSVA ensures that survivors of domestic and sexual violence get the necessary/available support and services needed, preventive measures remain the most efficient ways of addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) issues.
She said that engaging APWECON (Alaga Ijoko/Iduro) on their role in preventing the menace of Domestic and Sexual Violence in the state is one of the measures of preventing such abuses.
Vivour-Adeniyi added that the agency was embarking on sustainable and proactive programmes in the fight against the menace of SGBV and engaging APWECON is one of such programmes.
The executive secretary said statistics had shown that marriage contracted under customary law and traditional practice were the preferred forms of solemnisation.
She said that in such forms of solemnisation, the Alaga strategic and influential role, while interfacing with intending couples and attending participants could not be undermined.
‘”Statistics from our agency reveal that over 75 per cent of clients reporting matrimonial abuses had prior knowledge of abusive behaviour of their partners but proceeded with the union for various reasons.
“Also, 70 per cent of these survivors submit to customary law and marriage.
“We intend to infuse advocacy around domestic violence into existing traditional marriage ceremonies conducted by Alagas in Lagos State so it will have far-reaching effects.
“This has birthed this programme, ”Idile Alayo”, which amongst other things keeps many abreast of the growing trend of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence issues in Lagos State.
”We use this medium to implore you to use your influence in the course of officiating traditional unions to advocate against domestic violence and preach the Zero tolerance message. Together, we can salvage our state from this destructive menace,” Vivour-Adeniyi said.
In her goodwill message, the APWECON Governor, Mrs. Matilda Shipeolu, said that the event was a welcome initiative to boost their roles as comperes, as well as ensure strong foundation for a violence-free home
Shipeolu said that the association had always taken it as a priority to address sexual and gender-based violence issues before, during, and after marriage.
She said that the training had improved their knowledge of new techniques on ways to reduce domestic violence in the society.