Lagos State First lady, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has challenged all men in Nigeria to join the campaign of war on rapists and the act of raping must be treated as pandemic like coronavirus COVID-19.
Speaking while receiving participants at a special all-male awareness walk organized by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) in collaboration with Partnership For Justice and Mirabel Centre against rape in Alausa, Sanwo-Olu said sexual violence against women and girls must be accorded the same level of seriousness with which Covid-19 pandemic was addressed to demonstrate a commitment to end the menace.
Ibijoke also called on Nigerian men to replicate the ongoing massive anti-racism protest in the United States in Nigeria against sexual and gender-based violence to send a strong message against rape and its perpetrators.
It is laudable to see men come out to send strong message against rape and ending sexual and gender-based violence in Lagos State. I am very happy that we are able to do this and I hope this will not be the last time we are going to see men coming out like this.
“I pray by the grace of God when we are going to repeat this event, we will have over 20 million men standing behind us. You know how they caused a movement in America where everybody came out; that is the type of movement we want to see here in Nigeria against rape.
“It is sad that while we fight Corona Virus pandemic, an unseen enemy, we are still having to deal with issues of a seen enemy and that is the perpetrators of rape and other forms of violence against women and children.
“According to the 2014 National Survey on Violence Against Children in Nigeria, one in every four women have experienced sexual violence in childhood, with over 70 per cent of them reporting more than one incident. Of the 24.8 per cent of women aged 18 to 24 who have experienced sexual abuse before the age of 18, a dismal 5 per cent sought help, and just 3.5 per cent received any assistance.
“Statistics also show that cases of Sexual and Gender-based violence against children cut across abuses within the home or the community by parents, male and female relatives, guardians, teachers, religious leaders, employers, employees, strangers, landlords, sons of landlords, among others.
See pictures from the campaign below.