France Rolls Out GPS Trackers To Curb Domestic Violence

 

 

 

French judges will soon have the option of requiring electronic tracking ankle bracelets for domestic violence offenders, the government said Thursday, as the country grapples with a growing number of women killed by current or former partners.

The measure, which has long been sought by rights advocates, was passed by parliament this year and will be gradually be rolled out starting Friday, according to a decree in France’s government bulletin.

The move is part of a wider government crackdown on domestic violence promised by President Emmanuel Macron, who has announced increased training for police and the creation of 1,000 new places in emergency shelters.

The GPS monitor alerts women as well as the police if known abusers get to within a certain distance of their victims.

Advocates of the device point to sharp decreases seen after their introduction in Spain and several US states.

Official statistics show that 146 women were killed in domestic violence cases last year, up from 121 in 2018.

Overall, the government estimates that more than 200,000 women are victims of marital violence each year, with many cases never reported.

The coronavirus crisis, which prompted a two-month nationwide lockdown last spring, also led to a surge in domestic violence as many women found themselves stuck with their abusers.

Initially, courts in just five cities will be able to issue the ankle bracelets, but they will be available nationwide by the end of this year, the justice ministry said, adding that around 1,000 of the monitors are currently in stock.

Judges can order them for men convicted of assault or even as part of protection orders for women who report abuse, even before any criminal conviction.

In this case, the alleged offender must agree to wear the bracelet. If he refuses, the judge can order prosecutors to open a criminal inquiry.

Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti will present the new measure at a courthouse in the Paris suburb of Pontoise on Thursday.

AFP

50 Suspects Arrested For Rape, Defilement, Domestic Violence In Lagos

A file photo of the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu.

 

A total of 50 suspects have been arrested for rape, defilement, and domestic violence in various parts of Lagos State.

The Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Hakeem Odumosu, disclosed this to reporters on Tuesday at the Police Headquarters in Ikeja.

He made the disclosure while giving an update on the successes recorded by personnel of the Lagos State Police Command in the last one month.

Odumosu, who said the suspects were arrested in the last one month, gave the breakdown of the figure according to the crimes committed.

He said, “It is worthy to note that 29 suspects were arrested for rape and defilement; 21 suspects were arrested for domestic violence.”

The police commissioner noted that two suspects were also arrested for child abuse while scores of others were apprehended for various crimes in the state.

According to him, 27 armed robbery suspects and 15 traffic robbery suspects were arrested within the last one month.

A photo taken on December 2, 2019, shows a woman campaigning against rape during a protest.

 

Odumosu added that the police successfully foiled 22 traffic robbery attempts while two armed robbery suspects died during the exchange of fire with security operatives.

On cultism, he said, ”We arrested 39 suspects for cultism and have successfully prevented the annual 7/7 and 8/8 celebrations by the cultists.”

“Four suspects were arrested for kidnapping and 19 suspects were arrested for murder. The Command prevented seven suicide attempts. All the suspects were charged to court,” the police commissioner stated.

He revealed that the police recovered 10 assorted firearms with lots of ammunition of different calibre, cutlasses, axes, and other dangerous weapons and charms from the suspects.

Odumosu, who said the police also recovered three stolen vehicles, believes the command has successfully nipped in the bud the menace of kidnapping in Lagos, especially on the waterways.

He assured the residents of the state that the police would continue to ensure the safety of their lives and properties.

We Will Defend Our Youths Against Rape, Domestic Violence – Minister

A file photo of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.

 

 

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has condemned the rise in the incidents of rape and gender-based violence in the country.

He also voiced his support for victims and survivors of such crimes, describing rape as “a brutal crime that attacks the mind, body, and soul.”

“The youth are the greatest victims of rape and we condemn this inhumane act in the strongest terms. We will join the vanguard against rape and ask for the stiffest penalty possible,” he said in a statement from his media office.

According to the minister, such acts must not be allowed to continue to take root in the Nigerian society and the ministry will champion the fight against the dastardly act as prescribed in the National Youth Policy.

“No Nigerian, whether male or female, should be discriminated against or made a victim anywhere in this country; we must unite to fight against rape in all forms,” he said.

Dare added, “All Nigerian youth must take the responsibility to be on the lookout for their female counterparts and offer them protection. Stigmatising victims must be stopped and completely outlawed.

“I am totally against a mindset that first, makes women victims, and then moves on to compound their suffering by blaming the survivor for the evil that has been inflicted upon her.”

He believes when people blame an individual for being raped, it discourages others from speaking out because each survivor and their families are afraid that they will be blamed and labelled for what happened to them.

The minister thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his resolute stand against rape, and the Minister for Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, for leading the charge.

“We shall stand shoulder to shoulder with you in this struggle, ” he said.

Dare, therefore, called on the Nigeria Police to review their methods of investigating cases of gender-based violence and rape with the objective of solving them with minimal pain to the survivors.

He also challenged civil organisations to deploy the use of technology to support their work against the social menace, adding that policymakers should be fearless and make laws that would deter future offenders.

Australia Announces Nearly $100m To Fight Coronavirus-Triggered Domestic Violence

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (C) attends a videoconference with G20 leaders to discuss the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Parliament House in Canberra on March 26, 2020. Gary Ramage / POOL / AFP

 

 

Australia on Sunday announced a nearly US$100 million boost in funding to tackle domestic violence after support services reported a spike in coronavirus-related family abuse.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there had been a 75 percent surge in Google searches for help during the ongoing nationwide shutdown of non-essential services to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Women’s Safety, a domestic violence charity in Australia’s most populous New South Wales state, has reported that more than 40 percent of workers had seen an increase in client numbers, with over a third of cases directly linked to the virus outbreak.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Coronavirus Cases Rise To 97 As NCDC Confirms Eight More Infections

In neighbouring Victoria, women’s support service Wayss said police requests for assistance with cases had almost doubled in the past week, as they dealt with a form of abuse “not experienced before”.

“Just having the people in the house, rather than having the pressure release of going to work, or being able to travel freely outside of the house are contributing factors,” Wayss CEO Liz Thomas told public broadcaster ABC.

“We’ve also seen half a dozen examples in the past week where perpetrators have actually used COVID-19 as a form of abuse — telling their partner that they have the virus, therefore they can’t leave the house.”

Perpetrators have also invited “people into the house where the woman is self-isolating, saying that the visitor has COVID-19 and is going to infect them”, Thomas said.

Prime Minister Morrison said the Aus$150 million boost — part of an additional Aus$1.1 billion in health-related spending announced Sunday — would be spent on telephone support services for both domestic violence victims and abusers.

“We need to put more resources into supporting people who will be vulnerable and maybe vulnerable,” he told reporters in Canberra.

The government is also increasing funding for online mental health services, telephone medical consultations and emergency food relief in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has left many people largely confined to their homes.

Australia has recorded almost 4,000 cases of COVID-19, with the death toll rising to 16 on Sunday.

AFP

Rape, Domestic Violence Offenders Won’t Go Unpunished – Lagos Govt

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his wife, Dr Ibijoke, and Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, during the march against domestic and sexual violence in Ikeja on November 26, 2019.

 

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to wield “the big stick” on perpetrators of rape, domestic violence and child abuse in the state.

He also pledged the support of the state government for the police and the judiciary to ensure the crime was brought to the barest minimum.

The governor gave the warning on Tuesday after leading the “Walk To Commit and Act” rally organised by the state government through the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) of the Ministry of Justice.

He explained that the government commemorating the day in line with the United Nations declaration against gender-based violence.

READ ALSO: Niger Govt Seals Deal To Save Nigeria $1.2bn Annually From Milk Importation

Governor Sanwo-Olu added that the state was working hard with the Police Command and all relevant agencies to bring the crime to a zero point.

He warned that no offender would go unpunished, stressing that rape, domestic violence, and child abuse were crimes and must be treated as such.

“Lagos State government through the Ministry of Justice and other arms of the government, deem it fit that we need to have this walk to further confirm and to indicate our full support for advocacy around the talk of child abuse, the advocacy around rape, against women and girl, the talk around domestic violence, sexual violence and all other vices that are around abuse of children,” the governor said.

He added, “Our government by this walk confirms that we are totally against it, we stand against everything about this issue and we are going to ensure that we have zero tolerance against it.

“It is a crime against humanity. When you are caught in the act of sexual violence, child abuse, domestic violence, you will be made to pay dearly for your crime.

“So, we are using this advocacy to warn and to tell people to desist because the full arm of the law will be brought to bear on anybody or institution found wanting in any form.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu encouraged victims of such acts to open up to necessary authorities with an assurance that the government would take up such issues.

According to him, it is about time people lived in civil society and ensure they end the silence.

“Come forth if anything happens, speak up, and you can rest assured that you’ll be protected and the government will take up your issue.

“For people that have been all shut out that don’t know who or how to go about it, we have phone numbers that you can call.

“You can call our 112 or you can call the toll-free number which is 08137960048. You can also send your text to 6820. Be rest assured that somebody is on the other side, that will pick up your case and we’ll see to it that justice is served in any way where we found anybody culpable,” the governor said.

Akwa Ibom Assembly Passes Bill Prohibiting Domestic Violence

Akwa Ibom Assembly Passes Bill Prohibiting Domestic Violence

 

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has passed a bill seeking to prohibit all forms of violence against citizens and to provide maximum protection for victims of domestic violence and other related crimes in the state.

The bill tilled ‘Akwa Ibom State Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill, 2018 was sponsored by the member representing Etinan State Constituency, Aniefiok Dennis.

It was passed into law on Thursday last week after the lawmakers adopted the report of the House Committee on Women Affairs, Social Welfare and Special Matters.

Presenting the report, the Committee Chairperson, Felicia Bassey, informed the House that they had an interactive session with relevant stakeholders on the matter.

She added that they observed that the bill would provide a stronger and more proactive response and support for all violence-related issues in the state.

Bassey was hopeful that, “It will also strengthen advocacy against rape, female genital mutilation, partner battery, stalking, harmful widowhood practices by state actors, and prohibit all forms of violence against persons while providing maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders”.

The bill was later read for the third time and passed into law by the lawmakers following a motion moved by the Deputy Leader of the House, Ime Okon, who represents Ibiono Ibom Constituency.

The motion was seconded by the member representing Abak Constituency, Friday Iwok.

The Speaker, Onofiok Luke, thanked the sponsor of the bill and members of the House for their painstaking effort in ensuring the smooth passage of the bill.

The House consequently proceeded to a recess in line with the calendar of the legislature as practiced globally.

The lawmakers would resume plenary for another legislative year on September 4, 2018.

Domestic Violence: British High Commissioner Says Men Also Have To Speak Out

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr Paul Arkwright has advised women, as well as men, to speak out against domestic violence.

He said men, just like women are equally being abused and it has become a matter of urgency to bring an end to gender-based violence of any form and stigmatisation.

He made this position known while addressing the issue on Channels Television’s Sunrise on Saturday.

He explained further that while women are victims 90 per cent of the time, men are also vulnerable to various forms of abuse.

“The prevalence of violence in the society is huge; the prevalence of violence against women and girls, in particular, is very worrying – across the world but here in Nigeria it is a particular problem.

“A lot of that is violence within the family, people that they know and I think it is time to speak out, it is time to say: this has to stop and it is really important that men say that as well as women – so this isn’t a women’s issue, this is an issue about society.

“The perpetrators of violence against women and girls are almost by definition men and I think that is something that men need to recognize and stand up and say this has got to stop.”

He, therefore, asked that government at all levels must also act quickly to stop domestic violence in whatever form.

“It is a really important debate – a difficult debate. It cuts across boundaries of culture, ethnic groups. It is a debate that really has to be brought out in the open and discussed properly and then society, the government at all levels has to take action to stop it,” he stressed.

I Don’t Intend To Keep Making A Caricature Of My Private Life – Tonto Dikeh

Nollywood Actress, Tonto Dikeh, has said she will no longer divulge information about her private life as she has realized it neither helps her career nor changes people’s perception about her.

She said this while speaking on Channels Television’s Rubbin’ Minds, in reaction to the backlash that followed her breakup and domestic violence dispute with her estranged husband, Churchill Olakunle.

The actress, however, noted that she has no regrets over the fact that she had shared her story earlier as it created awareness and helped other people in similar situations.

According to her, rather than speak about the past, she has now resolved to focus only on the positive side of life with a stronger will to succeed.

“Yes, I’ve decided to just keep quiet. Apart from being exhausted I think they have a plan to just keep taking me backwards but I realize it now that my responses don’t even help me or my brand, it doesn’t even change the perspective people have of me, so why even bother,” she asserted.

“I do not regret my interviews because I got to know that after the interviews a lot of domestic violence victims came out and a lot of people started getting saved and despite all the shame and criticism the interviews brought me, I won’t still regret it because I know that I truly helped someone out there.

“It was killing me, but I got to the point where I understood that, nobody cares about me or the situation that happened in my home asides from me.

“I’m not about to validate my past pain to anybody, I’m just all about moving forward and dumping every weight that has held me backward for a very long time and just being as successful as I can; so whether you believe me or not, it does not matter.”

Speaking further about the situation of things between she and her estranged husband, the actress said she has already begun the process of pressing charges against him, for reasons she equally chose to keep private.

“I do not intend to keep making a caricature of my private life, so everything that happens in court stays in court – I’m done with the public,” she said.

Speaking about her career, asides working on a new project which she says fans would definitely love, Tonto also noted that she is now more cautious about the kind of roles she would be playing.

“I am on a very exciting project, it’s not a movie but I can’t tell you what it is yet.

“I have started doing movies again, but I am very very guarded on what kind of scripts I choose. I’m not saying I’m big on the movies now, but I’m just waiting for that exceptional script.”

Speaking of other developments regarding her NGO – the Tonto Dikeh Foundation, the actress said she is currently building a school for the less privileged and with the help of the media, there would be more publicity for upcoming projects and activities.

“It is a free school, and my foundation is about giving back educationally, girl child empowerment, women empowerment and youth empowerment.

“The foundation is actually older than the story, my foundation is 10 years old, I’ve been doing this for 10 years, the only thing is I’v just not been having enough publicity around it. I did not know the power of media then, but now I do understand the power of media that you have to put your work out there.

“So, no, we are not here for a short time. We’ve done 10 years and we are about to go more, we’re just getting stronger by the day that’s why you are seeing more works from us,” she added.

Domestic Issues Made Me Leave Nollywood For 10 Years – Ayo Adesanya

Actress Ayo Adesanya has said domestics issues were responsible for her exit off the limelight for 10 years.

Speaking on Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television the actress explained that she experienced domestic violence during her relationship and that played a part in her decision to take a break.

“I started with the English movies but at a point I wasn’t as active as I used to be. I was out of the scene for 10 years slightly due to domestic stuff. When I mean domestic, I was in a kind of relationship, though I was never married to him, we were living together. I experienced a little bit of domestic violent but I am over it now.

“I went through that and I came out of that. I can actually talk about it now because, initially, when it happened I was a little bit ashamed then.”

Adenanya who has starred in both Yoruba and English movies says she earns more when she features in English movies.

“I have been acting for 22 years, I do both Yoruba and English movies but I make more in English movies; they do pay more and there is a bigger audience. Though I love both because they are both challenging and they give me different kind of vibes.”

For her latest projects, she veered into production.

“I am on ‘Skinny Girl’, I have done quite a number of movies with some producers which would be in the cinemas. I was also in ‘Omugwo’ with Kunle Afolyan. I actually did two movies, my movies, I produced them and they are going to be on the internet very soon.

“I am putting up some other projects, I am trying to do a TV programme and quite a number of movies too.”

The actress now takes her spiritual life seriously and has become very picky with the roles she plays as a result of her faith .

“Recently I am more of a church person, so I won’t accept nudity roles and the stories I do now I put a little message in it. It is gratifying for me,” she said.

Domestic Violence: Lagos Records 852 Cases In Nine Months

Lagos Records 852 Domestic Violence Cases In Nine Months

The Lagos State government says a total of 852 cases of domestic violence and related cases were recorded in the state between January and September 2017.

Out of the number, there were 564 domestic violence cases, 60 defilement cases, 30 rape cases, 11 attempted rape, 123 child neglect and abuse cases, and 84 other cases.

This is according to the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, who addressed a meeting on Tuesday in Alausa to commemorate the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

He observed that the trend from the data showed an increase in men reporting cases of domestic violence, saying a total of 55 men came forward to report in 2017 compared to 14 men who reported in 2016.

The commissioner said the data revealed that most of the sexual assault cases were perpetrated in the afternoon during weekdays, stressing that 95 per cent of the perpetrators of sexual violence were known to the victims.

He explained that this necessitated the need to embark on sensitisation campaigns for parents on parenting skills and child abuse prevention tips, as well as training for children on child’s rights, child abuse, safety and how to preserve evidence.

While some of the cases have been charged to court, Kazeem said the state government, through the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, in partnership with other stakeholders, provided shelter for the survivors.

He added that all the survivors of sexual assault were given adequate medical attention among other efforts to properly rehabilitate and reintegrate them into the society.

The commissioner, who is also the Chairman of the State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), highlighted some of the successes recorded by the team.

He said the interventions of DSVRT were gradually breaking the silence around issues of sexual and gender based violence in the State.

“There is a growing confidence urging people to speak out more, there is an astronomical increase in reporting of cases in the media,” Kazeem said in a statement.

“Lagos has indeed revolutionised the way sexual and gender based violence is being tackled in Nigeria with all the pioneering initiatives of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode (of Lagos State).”

He further revealed that the state government has concluded plans to launch a short service code that would afford residents the opportunity of reporting cases of domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse and other related offences with ease.

According to the commissioner, the initiative was aimed at ensuring that victims of all forms of abuse reach out to the appropriate agencies and receive timely information on what to do and where to get assistance.

“This would be achieved by members of the public using keywords, that is, ‘Child Abuse to 6820’ or *6820# and an interactive menu browser to get the relevant information from such users such as name, location, specific case or complaint which would, in turn, ensure that the whole response team is automatically activated.

“Anybody that needs to report a case of child abuse, rape or domestic violence or requires a child or a woman to be rescued can make use of the platform and should receive timely and accurate information”, he said.

Lagos Enlists Two Million Residents in Fight Against Domestic Violence

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has begun a six-month intensified campaign against all forms of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the state with a target to reach out to two million residents to lead the crusade against the menace.

Coordinator of DSVRT, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi who disclosed this during a training session for Media Practioners on Best Practices for Investigating and Reporting Sexual and Gender Based Violence cases, said the development was in a bid to ensure that no community is left behind in the fight against all forms of SGBV.

According to her, the DSVRT would be embarking on intensive sensitisation campaigns at communities like Fagba, Ajuwon, Surulere, Ikeja, Kosofe, Ikorodu, Iwaya, Epe, Badagry, Onike, Ijanikin, Ojo, Idimu, Lagos Island, Alimosho and Agege.

She also said that inner communities in Badore, Sangotedo, Oke Yaya, Owutu would also not be left out of the intensive campaign to reach out to at least two million Lagosians.

“The campaign will be conducted through door-to-door canvassing, engagement of children in schools, town hall meetings, market rallies, engagement at religious gatherings, and visitation to salons.

“There would also be an extensive media outreach through Billboards, radio and television jingles in English, pidgin and other indigenous languages,” Vivour-Adeniyi said.

The DSVRT Coordinator also said that the Team would ensure that relevant details on Domestic Violence prevention are distributed through Local Governments and Marriage Registries to intending couples.

She said the aim of the six months intensive campaign is to drive increased awareness within the populace, improve on coordination of response and more effective prosecution of cases with better witness corroboration, and ultimately a reduction in the number of SGBV cases within the state.

Celebrities Join Ooni’s Wife In Walk Against Domestic Violence

Celebrities on Friday, joined in the campaign against domestic violence founded by the wife of the Ooni of Ife, Wuraola Ogunwusi.

The campaign tagged 1in3Africa, which took place at Lagos Island, according to the Olori was a call to action to spread awareness to end domestic violence and sexual abuse against women across the continent.

The idea of the campaign according to her, was borne out of the fact that “1 in 3 women have been beaten or experienced sexual violence.

“The United Nations estimates that 70% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.

“Around 120 million girls worldwide have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives and by far the most common perpetrators of sexual violence against girls are current or former husbands, partners or boyfriends,” Wuraola stated.

The walk was formally endorsed by the Emir of Kano, actresses Tonto Dikeh, Toke Makinwa, and Mercy Aigbe.

Other supporters included: Kate Henshaw, Ini Edo, Monalisa Chinda, Uche Jumbo, Funke Akindele, Seyi Shay, Adunni Ade, Ndidi Obioha (Enthyst), amongst many others.

Read Also: Mercy Aigbe Joins Campaign Against Domestic Violence