THE Women’s Right and Health Project (WRAHP), a non-governmental organisation, has held a one-day town hall meeting with residents of Idimu community and the police to discuss solutions to domestic violence.
The event held at the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) Hall at Area M police command in Idimu.
Chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC) of Igando/Ikotun Local Council Development Authority (LCDA) Ademola Osibeluwo said since WRAHP started to visit the community, the council has experienced peace.
He said: “About three years ago, issues around domestic violence, rape and other vices were rampant in my community, but when WRAHP came and trained us, we mobilised, went to the community and we were able to trace some of the perpetrators and sent them out of the community.
“We have handled a lot of marital abuse, child abuse and other cases with the help of WRAHP and the Area M police station. I have handled about 96 marital cases and have been able to resolve about 84.
“Sometimes, when parents go to the police, the police begin to ask them questions that will scare them away, and at the end of the day nothing will be done to help them. Sometimes they insist that the complainant brings money before they can conduct any investigations.”
National Coordinator of Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) Okechukwu Nwanguma said the event was apt to create awareness between police and residents on the prevalence of domestic violence, sexual abuse, its effect and role, which requires both the police and community to play roles to check the increasing abuse of against women and children.
He said: “I think the police should understand the effect that violence, particularly sexual violence, has on women, and the role they must play to ensure proper investigation and enforcing the law that prohibits abuse of women “For me, it is an opportunity to share ideas so that we can reach an agreement on how to work together to end violence against women and children.
“The feedback we always get from cases of domestic violence that we have handled is that the police usually not only ask for mobilisation fee, but also blame the victim, which amounts to double victimisation. So the confidence that victims of domestic violence used to have in the police completely dies down.”