The 2018 report of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team of the Ministry of Justice, Lagos State, has shown a 134 per cent increase in cases of rape, defilement and domestic violence handled by the agency compared to the previous year.
A copy of the report obtained by Saturday PUNCH indicated that DSVRT handled 2,356 cases in 2018 – 1,312 higher than 1,044 cases treated in the preceding year.
In the year under review, the agency recorded 1,750 domestic violence cases, 279 child abuse cases, 78 defilement cases, 44 cases of rape, 51 attempted rape cases and 154 other cases.
While the number of domestic violence cases increased by 817, the incidence of child abuse and defilement rose by 251 and 37 respectively. Rape cases was 24 higher compared to the 2017 report.
According to the 2018 statistics, the office on the average received 166 new cases monthly and got 840 genuine reports via the 6820 emergency short code.
The report stated, “The team recorded a major increase in the number of cases handled in 2018. A total number of 2,356 cases, including 1,750 domestic violence cases, 279 child abuse cases, 78 defilement cases, 44 rape cases, 51 attempted rape cases and 154 other cases were handled. It was discovered that the number of cases increased by 134 per cent in the year 2018.
“DSVRT has responded to 439 reports of domestic violence, 215 reports of sexual abuse and 186 reports of child abuse – all reported via the 6820 platform. What is most exciting about the platform is that it breaks the initial barrier of people not wanting to make formal reports at an office or police station. We are now able to interact directly with survivors and concerned witnesses and take vital steps in dealing with a case.”
The report added that DSVRT focused on children who experienced violence at the hands of close relations, noting that a total number of 2,646 children were exposed to domestic violence within the home.
Some of the children were said to have been taken through counselling programmes to ensure that their experiences did not have permanent and negative impacts on them.
The report said, “From January 2018 to December 2018, the attention of DSVRT was drawn to incidents of child abuse in 19 schools. All the erring schools are under investigation by the Office of Education Quality Assurance in the Ministry of Education. All the defilement cases have been taken to court.”