In yet another pace-setting stride, the ever responsive and protective Lagos State Government, under the aegis of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, DSVRT, has commenced its “Lagos Says No to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace,” in its un-daunting effort to proactively address the precarious menace of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Coordinator of DSVRT, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, in a terse statement last Tuesday, said that, ‘staff of some multinational companies were recently engaged on several related issues, including sexual harassment, on steps to take to report the role of corporate organizations in ensuring safe spaces and the impact of sexual harassment, some of which include depression, posttraumatic stress disorder.’

While encouraging corporate organisations to have structures in place for reporting, she, however, reiterated that sexual harassment was a crime and the State Government reserves a right to intervene. Vivour-Adeniyi also added that DSVRT recently engaged over 100 Human Resource Professionals and Psychologists from various corporate organisations at a workshop organized by Employee Assistance Professionals Association. The engagement was focussed on the ‘impact of domestic violence in the workplace.’ 

“The participants were informed of what domestic violence is; the negative impact of domestic violence on survivors, some of which include inability of victims to fully participate in the workforce, reduced productivity, frequent absenteeism, loss of job, potential harm to employees, co-workers and/or customers when violent abusers enter the workplace. All these can be dangerous, as companies may be held liable if violence erupts on their premises,” the DSVRT Coordinator said.

Besides, she said a survey was conducted on the impact of domestic violence in the workplace, and majority of results and findings indicated that victims could not concentrate as a result of the issues they faced at home, while a majority of women sampled also said they recorded a number of mistakes, felt tired at work, due to sleep deprivation and generally unable to work well.

“Corporate organizations therefore need to be awakened to the reality that all these and more can be hidden issues in workplace wellness and productivity,” Vivour-Adeniyi added.

Booklets on Sexual harassment and Domestic Violence’ were also distributed and participants were reminded that the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, which can be reached on 0813-796-0048 or by simply dialling *6820#, is readily available to assist, at no cost.

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