The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has enlisted over 400 market leaders popularly called Iya lojas and Baba lojas as ambassadors against domestic violence, in its quest to rid the state of all forms of gender based violence.
Coordinator of DSVRT, Mrs. Lola Vivour-Adeniyi told journalists after the meeting that the market leaders were educated on the existence of various laws including the Child Rights Law, 2007, Prevention Against Domestic Violence Law, 2007 and the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
She said they were also informed of the support services available to them if they or any person comes out to report, such as shelter homes and access to free legal representation.
Vivour-Adeniyi said the need to speak out and not cower to pressures from family members, opinion leaders and even certain law enforcement agencies to settle the matters out of court was also reiterated at the meeting.
She said the latest engagement with the market leaders was premised on the mandate given by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to embark on grassroots engagement and traders being key stakeholders in this regard should champion the fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence crimes.
“Market men and women were also urged to act as mandated reporters, if they see something, they should say it. This is especially as incidents of gender violence have in most recent times occurred at the market place”.
She said fliers and stickers were given to the market leaders, whilst posters which will be pasted at the different markets in Lagos State were also shared so as to ensure optimal reach.
“The contact numbers to reach members of the Team which are – 112 or 0813-796-0048 was also communicated during the engagement”, she said.
On her part, the Iya Loja General, Chief Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, assured the DSVRT of her full support and assured the team that the market men and women will not only speak out, but would also act as ambassadors against sexual and gender based violence in the state.