The Lagos State Government under the aegis of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), has commenced engagement of 5000 Primary and Secondary School Students on Child Rights and Child Abuse as well as all forms of sexual and domestic violence.

The initiative is also geared towards empowering them with their roles and responsibilities in handling and preventing such issues.

Coordinator of DSVRT, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi in a statement on Sunday said the Team held an interactive workshop for primary school children tagged ‘Safeguarding the Rights of a Child’, also known as STRAC to appropriately sensitize them in age appropriate language on their rights, responsibilities child abuse, on how to avoid being a victim of sexual abuse, self-defence tips, and how to preserve evidence when physically or sexually assaulted.

She said DSVRT has also commenced the Smart Teens Advocacy Initiative (STAI), which is targeted at secondary school students, adding that the workshop deployed the means of drama, dance and role play.

“STAI via interactive workshops is one of the strategies deployed to fight against the growing trend of rape culture in Secondary Schools. The rape prevention workshop is led by trained Peer educators, who have experience in gender relations, socialization, dating violence and sexual violence prevention. We believe this would go a long way in curbing incidents of Domestic violence, Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse amongst teens,” the DSVRT Coordinator said.

According to her, the first set of workshops took place on Wednesday, 11th and Thursday 12th October, 2017 at Lagos Island, with over 1000 primary and secondary students in attendance drawn from different schools in Education District Three.

She said asides verbally engaging students on their rights and responsibilities, the students were also equipped with relevant materials, textbooks and posters which can be displayed conspicuously in the school premises to serve as a reminder.

 “The program was deemed successful in sensitizing the students as feedback from them indicated they now feel empowered especially in the area of how to avoid being a victim of sexual abuse,” she said.

She said in the next coming weeks, another set of 5000 students drawn from over 300 primary and secondary schools would be impacted with relevant information, expressing optimism that it would go a long way in empowering children and ensuring that the next generation is one that is fully sensitized around the ills of sexual abuse.