The Oyo State Government has established a Sexual Offences and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Response Team in the Ministry of Justice to serve as a nimble quick responder to sexual and gender based offences.
Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr. Oluseun Abimbola said SGBV would serve as a first responder unit to address complaints arising from sexual and gender based violence.
At the inauguration of the SGBV team, Mr. Abimbola said the governor had signed into law, the Violence Against Women Prohibition law in the state, to curb the increasing incidence of child defilement, domestic violence and related offences.
He noted that the establishment of the SGBV team would give fire and bite to the enforcement mechanism “for this law and other related laws against such offences in the state.”
The attorney-general said: “It has become clear that dealing with sexual based offences will require an intervention beyond the traditional structures to be able to provide counsel to victims, provide professional medical assistance to extract evidence timeously, offer legal services and a shelter, where necessary, for victims, among other things.
“The SGBV team will serve as a one-stop shop to deal with the multiple issues arising from such offences,” Abimbola said.
He urged the team to hit the ground running by immediately setting up a help line for quick alerts by complainants, opening a sex offenders register “to document and deter these heinous crimes and ultimately midwifing the establishment of a Sexual Offences and Gender Based Violence Referral Centre, which will eventually house the unit and warehouse all the offered services.”
The commissioner said the team is a collaboration of ministries and agencies including Ministries of Justice, Women Affairs & Child Welfare, Health, the Nigerian Police, Legal Aid Council, Civil Society, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the media, “with representatives drawn from these agencies and MDAs in the team.”