The Lagos State Government has expressed concern over the increasing cases of child abuse in the state, including abuse that occurs in homes.
The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, made this known at the Parents Association Conference on Safeguarding and Child Protection. The conference, which was held at Awori Ajeromi Grammar School in Agboju, was aimed at educating parents on how to prevent domestic and sexual violence against children and how to report cases of abuse.
Vivour-Adeniyi, who was represented by the Head of Psychology Department of the DSVA, Olive Oluwagbemileke, noted that the Lagos State Government will leave no stone unturned to prosecute perpetrators of child abuse, even if it occurs within the home. She emphasized that the conference is designed to enlighten parents on the signs and symptoms of child abuse, as well as the laws and policies put in place by the government to protect children.
The conference also aimed to educate parents on effective parenting skills from a psychological perspective, highlighting the differences between punishment and discipline. Vivour-Adeniyi explained that while punishment is not an effective tool for correcting wrong behaviors in children, discipline is essential to guide and mold them to become responsible citizens in society.
Kamardeen Akodu, the Director of Monitoring and Investigation at the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), also spoke at the conference. He commended the Lagos State Government for its efforts in safeguarding children through the enactment of policies and the establishment of relevant agencies such as the DSVA, OEQA, and MYSD. He noted that due to the prompt response to complaints, sensitization, and convictions, there has been an increase in reported cases of abuse, particularly in schools.
However, Akodu stressed that more attention should be paid to abuse that occurs in homes, as investigations have revealed that perpetrators are sometimes family members or close acquaintances. He urged parents to take responsibility for the safety of their children and to contribute positively to the fight against child abuse in society.