By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
A programme to rehabilitate and reintegrate sex and domestic offenders if they eventually get back into the society is ongoing by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, DSVA.
It is to provide psychosocial support for willing sex offenders.
The programme is being held in sessions and groups at the Kirikiri and Ikoyi Maximum Security Custodial Centre.
The agency says the programme is facilitated by a group of its trained psychologists and the Institute of Counseling, on a weekly basis where inmates are expected to take responsibilities for their actions and enlightened on healthy sexuality.
The sex offenders rehabilitation programme is as a result of partnership with the Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command and the Institute of Counselling of Nigeria.
The agency further highlighted that offenders are also armed with peer and professional support to manage thoughts, feelings and behaviours that lead to inappropriate sexual behaviours.
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DSVA noted that it is imperative that incarcerated adult sex offenders are rehabilitated and supported to reduce the possibility of them perpetrating the same crime if eventually they are reintegrated into the society.
Stating also that the inmates would also learn specialised strategies to deal with sexual addiction and sexual compulsive behaviours, amongst 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.
Providing Psycho-social support is in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu’s commitment and resolve to provide holistic response to Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the State and this rehabilitation programme is targeted at convicts from the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Kirikiri Apapa and Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Ikoyi, the statement added, noting that the Lagos State Government continues to reiterate its commitment to winning the war against Domestic and Sexual Violence, as it encourages victims and survivors of these heinous crimes to take advantage of support services which can be accessed via its toll free line- 08000-333-333.
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