The Lagos State Government has commenced the provision of psychological support for willing sex offenders as a means to stop sexual and gender-based violence in the state.
This was made known via a statement by Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the Executive Secretary of Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA).
Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi said that the DSVA is carrying out the rehabilitation programme in partnership with the Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command, and the Institute of Counselling of Nigeria.
“It is aimed at mitigating the risk of recidivism by sex offenders. It is imperative that incarcerated adult sex offenders are rehabilitated and supported to reduce the possibility of them perpetuating the same crime if eventually they are reintegrated into the society,” the statement partly read.
Providing psycho-social support, she stated, was in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to providing a holistic response to sexual and gender-based violence in the state.
According to her, the programme was targeted at convicts from the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Kirikiri, Apapa, and Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Ikoyi.
The programme, which is held in sessions and groups, is facilitated by a group of trained psychologists from DSVA and the Institute of Counselling on weekly basis.
According to her, inmates are expected to take responsibility for their actions and be enlightened on healthy sexuality.
“Furthermore, inmates are armed with peer and professional support to manage thoughts, feelings and behaviours that lead to inappropriate sexual behaviours.
“The inmates would also learn specialised strategies to deal with sexual addiction and sexually compulsive behaviours, among many other positive coping skills.
“While the rehabilitation programme does not offer amnesty or excuse abusive acts, it seeks to reduce any reoccurrence of child sexual abuse and rape cases from sex convicts in future,” she said.