Lagos DSVA urges ethical repoting on gender-based violence

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Lagos DSVA urges ethical reporting on gender-based violence.

By Oluwapelumi Oluwayemi

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) has called for a shift in mindset and approach to reporting on domestic and sexual violence crimes in the media.

Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the Executive Secretary, made this plea during a one-day training session on Investigating and Reporting Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Lagos.

The training, held on February 22, 2024, at the LCCI Conference Center, was attended by media practitioners from various outlets.

Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the Executive Secretary of DSVA
According to her, “There was a need to build the ability of the media to report Sexual and Gender-Based violence cases in a more gender-sensitive approach”.
Vivour-Adeniyi stressed the importance of adopting a more gender-sensitive approach in reporting such cases, particularly in the choice of words used in headlines.
She emphasized the need to avoid sensationalizing the reporting of domestic and sexual violence incidents, instead focusing on delivering messages that deter such crimes.
Vivour-Adeniyi reiterated the fact that the media serve as a powerful disseminator of information, and therefore holds a crucial role in shaping perceptions, influencing attitudes, and catalyzing societal change.
Media practitioners serve as the conduits through which stories are told, truths are uncovered, and voices are amplified.
Highlighting the influential role of the media in shaping perceptions and driving societal change, Vivour-Adeniyi revealed the responsibility of media practitioners to uphold ethical journalism principles.

At the training, Atinuke Odukoya, Director of Administration at the Centre for Women’s Health and Information, emphasized the significance of media practitioners gaining a deeper understanding of gender-based violence issues and the challenges faced by victims seeking justice.

Odukoya emphasized the media’s power to influence societal norms and called for collective action to combat the dehumanization and abuse of women and girls.

“The Media is powerful and it can change people’s perception, and tell us what our norms are in the society by reporting it”. Odukoya added.

Damilare Adewusi, Head of the Community Engagement Department at DSVA, briefed participants on the range of support services provided by the State Government for victims of violence, including medical, legal, and psycho-social assistance.

Understanding the relevant laws by Tope Oyedija, Introduction to Sexual and Gender Based Violence by Atinuke Odukoya, Exploring Existing State Structures and Services for Survivors of Rape, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse by Damilare Adewusi and Best Practices for Reporting Sexual and Gender-Based Violence by Adejoke Ladenegan-Oginni were sessions delivered to the media practitioners at the event.

Media representatives were also provided with a handbook outlining best practices for reporting on sexual and gender-based violence.

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