The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) has begun the provision of psychosocial support for sex offenders in a bid to curb sexual and gender-based violence in society.
Speaking on the initiative, the Executive Secretary of DSVA, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said the programme is held in sessions and groups at the Kirikiri and Ikoyi Maximum Security Custodial Centre and facilitated by a group of trained Psychologists from DSVA and the Institute of Counseling weekly with inmates enlightened on healthy sexuality while taking responsibility for their actions.
She added that the sex offenders’ rehabilitation programme, organised in partnership with the Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command and the Institute of Counselling of Nigeria, is aimed at mitigating the risk of recidivism by sex offenders.
Mrs. Viviour-Adeniyi stated that the offenders are also armed with peer and professional support to manage thoughts, feelings and behaviours that lead to inappropriate sexual acts, stressing that the inmates would also learn specialised strategies to deal with sexual addiction and sexually compulsive behaviours, among many other positive coping skills.
Emphasising the importance of the programme, the Executive Secretary said: “Incarcerated adult sex offenders must be rehabilitated and supported to reduce the possibility of them perpetuating the same crime if eventually they are reintegrated into the society”.
While noting that the rehabilitation programme does not offer amnesty or excuse abusive acts, Vivour-Adeniyi noted that it seeks to reduce any reoccurrence of child sexual abuse and rape cases from sex convicts in the future.
She maintained that providing psychosocial support is in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu’s commitment to a holistic response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the State, adding that the programme is targeted at convicts from the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Kirikiri, Apapa and Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Ikoyi.
The Executive Secretary reiterated the commitment of the State Government to winning the war against Domestic and Sexual Violence, imploring victims and survivors of the heinous crimes to take advantage of support services which can be accessed via the toll-free line: 08000-333-333