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Thursday, August 18, 2022

GBV: Run for your life if marriage is threatened – Lawyer advises

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A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Oladipupo Atoloye, urges partners who are experiencing violence in their marriages to “run for their dear lives” in order to avoid death.

He made the call during a virtual session of  the Tech for Justice event with the theme: “Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and the Law” on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Atoloye, is a member of the Domestic Violence Child Right and Person Living With Disabilities of the Nigeria Bar Association, Ikorodu branch.

Atoloye said that gender-based violence was not only restricted to women but also men but that men mostly shy away from reporting.

“Men also suffer violence but the ego in men will not allow them to report because of shame.”
He said that GBV cases had increased in Lagos in the last two years.

“Between 2019 and 2021, the state recorded 10,000 cases of gender-based violence; some led to physical harm while some led to death.

“If a person is in a marriage where physical harm is involved, it is always advisable to separate and let the coast clear before moving back.

“We have seen and heard of cases when partner kill each other, it is better you separate, justice cannot bring back the death.”
According to him, religious beliefs are major hindrances to issues of this nature and there is a need for people to open their mind and think outside the box
“Some Christians will say the Bible frowns at divorce, it is true the bible frowns at it but we need to apply the wisdom God has given to us.

“It is better to be alive and be a divorcee than to die, wisdom is profitable to direct.”
The legal practitioner advised victims to report to appropriate quarters to get safe and get justice.

“The Lagos State Domestic Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) handles cases of abuse; victims can go and lodge their complaints and the agency will take it up free of charge.

“Police formation especially in Lagos State also has department of human rights where you can report such abuses.

“The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) also has human rights department, you can approach any of its branches, it will assist you for free.

“If you know anyone who is being abused in your community or anywhere, you can also report at any of the appropriate authority on behalf of the person.

By doing so, you are saving a life.

“This is a serious issue, we should all come together to fight this menace to reduce it to the barest minimum.”
According to him, Violence Against Person (VAP) is a criminal offence, the penalty ranging from 14 years imprisonment or life imprisonment depending on the offence.

“But if it involved death, the maximum if proven, is death by hanging but if proven to be manslaughter, it is life imprisonment.”
He urged Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) not to relent in their efforts of creating awareness and enlighten people on GBV.

“There is need for increase in awareness so that people will know the grievous nature of the issue and know their right.”
He said that the Police should be trained more on how to respond to victims of GBV and not just dismissed it as a family matter that need to be resolved internally. 

NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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