At least 80 per cent of convicted sex offenders (rapists) in various correctional facilities in Lagos State have confessed to having been sexually assaulted once.
A survey conducted by the Lagos State Domestic Sexual and Violence Response Team (DSVRT), an organisation under the Lagos State Government set up to ensure the eradication of sexual and gender-based violence in the state revealed this.
As gathered by Daily Times, the Coordinator of the DSVRT, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said this at a webinar tagged, ‘Gender Based Violence; The Way Forward’ organised by frontline gender activist and senior legal practitioner, Mrs. Funmi Falana.
Speaking on the sub-theme ‘Brick Walls in the Prosecution of Rape Cases (Forensic evidence of the under-pant)’, Mrs. Vivour-Adeniyi said there was a need to ensure that victims received psycho-social support in order to end the vicious cycle.
She noted that the research revealed that “over 80 per cent of the sexual offenders had themselves been victims of sexual offences and had not undergone psychotherapy test and help.”
Vivour-Adeniyi further stated that “none of the convicted sexual offenders interviewed in the research mentioned the dressing of the victim as the basis for committing the sexual violence.”
The DSVRT coordinator lamented the reluctance of some judges to convict alleged sexual offenders, particularly where there is no sufficient forensic evidence directly linking the accused to the alleged sexual offence, a fact that ultimately buttresses the relevance of forensic/ expert evidence in the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences.
Also speaking on the topic, ‘Punishment of Offenders and Reparation for Victims’ the Attorney-General of Ekiti State, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, said like in every other aspect of criminal prosecution, prosecuting agencies sometimes experience difficulties in terms of getting the sustained cooperation of the victims and their family.
He also decried what he termed the ‘rape and beg syndrome’.
He noted that once some of the family members of the perpetrators of the crime approach the victims and or their families, they are usually reluctant to lend further cooperation in prosecuting such cases.