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In an effort to stem domestic violence and related vices in the state, as well as to enforce its new directive on premarital counseling, the Lagos State Domestic Violence Agency (DSVA) has trained registrars in new ways to identify violence before marriages are consummated. .

Produced in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, it also aimed to shed light on the effective use of compulsory pre-marriage counseling for future couples.

According to the agency’s executive secretary, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, statistics show that around 80% of those who report domestic violence had pre-existing knowledge of their partner’s erratic behavior before marriage, but continued with the union.

She added that the agency intends to embark on sustained and proactive programs to address the issue.

“It is to this end that we, after observing the important and strategic position of registrars to provide a dominant perspective in premarital counseling, which can prevent domestic violence,
especially intimate partner violence (IPV) engages in it.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Kikelomo Sanyaolu, represented by Oluwatoyin Adeniji, in his keynote address applauded the agency for the timely decision, pledging his support to sustain the initiative.

Personal and family life experts presented the detailed eight-week, three-day program to the 62 registrars.

They were taught gender and sex roles, marital definition and roles, understanding love, the origin of domestic violence and how to recognize the signs; preventing domestic violence and the role of civil registrars.

They were also exposed to best practices in counseling and exploring existing state structures and services for victims of domestic violence, as well as laws governing domestic violence in the state.

Registrars also took psychometric tests to help them assess compatibility in couples, as they were urged not to help couples take shortcuts, but to undergo the entire period of premarital counseling before they were joined.

The founder of the Institute of Family Engineering and Development in Africa, Praise Fowowe, who was one of the resource persons, said the training had become “necessary due to the increase in domestic violence in the State”. Many women saw the red flags before getting married but ignored them. The fact that there is a gap in professional counseling is also an issue, which led us to create a program that registrars can roll out to prospective couples and spot abusers to prevent them from getting married.

“We also have the response part which deals with what can be done if the couple are already married and how the matter can be passed on to the correct agencies. Registrars can stop a marriage if they find something is wrong. What we call a church wedding is actually a civil wedding and must be performed in a licensed church, under the direction of a licensed pastor. Many people marry unauthorized ministers and such marriages do not exist in the eyes of the law. No matter where you got married, once you are a Lagos resident and you experience abuse in your marriage, you can contact the DSVA for help.

National Chairman, Association of Local Government Registrars of Marriages, Deji Sokeye, who is also Lagos State Chairman and Chief Registrar, Ikoyi/Obalende LCDA Marriage Registry, said registrars need to be familiar with forms of violence new, modern and sophisticated. .

“What we are seeing at the registry right now is incredible and if this issue is not resolved we would be in trouble. I had a wedding on a Thursday and on Monday morning the couple came back that they wanted a divorce. I was so shocked and after further questioning I found out that they did not take premarital counseling, despite being in a relationship for three years A potential victim especially knows that she is going to marry a potential abuser because the signs are still there, except you want to lie to yourself.