The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) at the weekend engaged over 5000 students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on sexual assault prevention.
DSVRT coordinator, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said the sexual assault prevention drive for higher institutions organised in partnership with the Pastor Bimbo Odukoya Foundation was aimed at addressing issues of sexual harassment, date rape, safety on campus, the role of a bystander and prevention.
The first drive, she said, kicked off on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 which coincided with the orientation session for new students.
“UNILAG students were given tips of how to avoid being victims of sexual assault. They were also informed of how to stay safe in social settings, some of which include making a plan B for emergency exits from a place, protecting their drinks, avoiding clubs or parties that charge men but let women enter and drink for free,” Mrs. Vivour-Adeniyi said.
She said that students were also informed and educated on the legal implications of committing sexual assault offences, and they were surprised to hear that these crimes carry up to life imprisonment.
“Conversely, students were informed of their roles as bystanders, in intervening and assisting to prevent sexual assault. They were taught to CARE – Create a distraction, Ask directly, Refer the matter to an authority and Enlist others and for their fellow students.
“Students were also given tips on how to date smart, some of which include setting limits and being clear on them, being mindful of behaviours of their partners some of which include degrading mannerisms, extreme jokes or language, violent tendencies, and controlling or overbearing tendencies,” she added.
Vivour-Adeniyi said most importantly, the males were charged to refrain from rape, thereby changing the narrative and shifting the responsibility on the male folk who statistics reveal are the chief perpetrators of these crimes.
The DSVRT coordinator added that a manual on sexual assault prevention which encapsulates all the issues raised at the interaction was prepared by her team and distributed to all the approximately 5,000 students present.
“The Guidance and Counselling Department of the University of Lagos assured the team of their commitment to continue to partner with DSVRT in addressing these issues,” she concluded.