HEARTLAND ALLIANCE NIGERIA joined forces with the Lagos State Division of Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence and Lagos State Police Gender Unit on June 8, 2023, in a collaborative effort to make a positive impact. The aim was to provide specialized training and certification to 47 police officers from various medical sections across the state on Gender-Based Management. This training was designed to equip the Gender Unit to effectively respond to survivors of violence and provide essential Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS).
The participants of this two days training included the Lagos State Police Gender Unit, gender officers, and police legal and medical officers. The decision to organize this training stemmed from the dedication and commitment of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Idowu Owohunwa, as well as the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr. Mrs. Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu. Their shared vision was to elevate the Lagos State Police Command Gender Unit to a comprehensive Sexual Assaults Referral Centre.
Once operational, this center will serve as a vital support system for the Lagos State Gender Unit of the Police Force, enabling them to respond more effectively to gender-based violence. The center will provide a wide range of services, including crisis care, medical examinations, emergency contraception, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections,
among others. The Commissioner’s approach to enhancing the quality of care for survivors of domestic and sexual violence involved relocating the current gender unit to a purpose-built environment, as well as conducting screening and training of officers in gender-responsive programming. These measures aim to improve service delivery and facilitate the generation of evidence in such cases.
This partnership between Heartland Alliance Nigeria, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Division, and the Lagos State Police Gender Unit demonstrates a shared commitment to addressing gender-based violence and creating a safer environment for survivors. It signifies the power of collaboration and collective effort to provide care to survivors of violence.