By G9ija

Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) on Wednesday said that 194 men were reportedly assaulted by their partners in the past six months.

DSVRT provided the figure in its bi-annual report.

The report made available to newsmen in Lagos is for January 2021 to June 2021.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the figure is 44.33 per cent higher than the 108 assault cases reported by men from January 2020 to June 2020.

According to the latest report, the DSVRT, from January  2021 to June 2021,  attended to 1,329 cases involving adults.

The data showed that 1,125 of the adults, representing  85 per cent, were female while 194 (15 per cent) were male.

The data revealed that 77 per cent of the adults were married, 11 per cent, single,  seven per cent, widowed and divorced  while five per cent were cohabiting.

In an interview with NAN, the Coordinator of the DSVRT, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said that there had been a steady increase in  reported cases of gender-based violence on the part of both men and women in the state since 2014.

She, however, said that men  had difficulty reporting incidents of assault by their partners largely due to cultural norms.

Vivour-Adeniyi said: “Patriarchy is an enemy of everybody because it keeps people in silence.

“From a young age, males are not allowed to express themselves when they are experiencing trauma, and that lingers on to adulthood.

“When a man is experiencing violence, even his fellow men mock him, and such a person will not be able to speak up.

“With the data we are seeing, we are confident that when men are aware, they can report these incidents.

“They will be treated with empathy and professionalism and they can be encouraged to speak up and report.”

The DSVRT report revealed that, of the 1,329 adults, 1,236 were aged between 18 years and 45 years while 93 were 45 years and above.

Further breakdown of the figures showed that 954 adults  reported domestic violence, 53 reported rape and 29 reported attempt to commit rape and sexual assault.

The data also  showed that 24 people reported sexual assault by penetration and threat, while 269 were for others.

The DSVRT coordinator told NAN that all the sexual violence cases had been charged to court.

“The directorate of public prosecutions has requested for the case files.

“All the cases of sexual assault by penetration are being prosecuted at the high court.

“All the cases that are sexual assaults that do not include penetration are currently being prosecuted at the magistrates’ court.

“For sexual violence, that is clear cut, because all the cases are being prosecuted.

“Domestic violence, however is not so clear cut because not all survivors want prosecution,  they want the abuse to stop,” Vivour-Adeniyi said.

The report also revealed that the top five local government areas  in which  the assaults were reported are Alimosho ( 200 cases), Ikeja (124 cases), Kosofe (123 cases), Ikorodu (115 cases) and Oshodi-Isolo (95 cases).