The law against domestic violence has been in existence since 2013, but just a few know about the law. So let us go through 15 facts about the law.
ABOUT THE LAW:
1. The law is a Lagos state law, aimed at protecting people against domestic violence and acts of abuses in the home, regardless of sex, age or marital status.
2. It is not limited to just the woman, as a man, a child or a domestic worker/house help can also apply.
3. It does not matter whether there is a validly contracted marriage between the victim and the perpetrator of the act as long as there is co-habitation or living together in a home setting i.e. existence of a domestic relationship.
4. The law is not to dissolve the marriage. It is not a law of divorce as it only seeks to remove the perpetrator of an abuse from the venue pending the time the abuse is corrected.
5. Anyone who resides in Lagos State can apply under this law regardless of his/her state of origin or where he/she contracted the marriage.
6. The law provides for financial assistance by the state through the OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER/LEGAL AID COUNCIL to victims of domestic violence who may be financially handicapped to seek redress in court under this law, therefore lack of money cannot hinder an aggrieved person from seeking redress in court under the law. See section 13(2) of the law.
7. The law prohibits publication of identities and information about parties to domestic violence cases, that is, the case of domestic violence can be heard in private which helps to make it easier for both parties to bear their minds.
8. Domestic violence under this law constitutes: physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual assault, starvation, emotional, verbal, psychological abuse, economic abuse, intimidation, stalking, hazardous attack including acid baths etc.
9. Economic abuse under this law refers to the unreasonable deprivation of economic or financial resources to which a victim is entitled under the Law.
10. “Busy bodies” can also file an application for domestic violence as long as the victim of the domestic violence gives his/her consent or agrees with the person to file the application.
11. Consent of the victim will not be necessary where it is a minor(below 18), mentally retarded person, an unconscious person or a person who is afraid to report due to fear of what might happen to him/her if the application is not granted.
12. Where the court proceedings are published or the names of the parties are published as against the provision of section 11(2) of the law, such a publisher shall be guilty of an offence and liable to pay a fine of N20,000.00 or one year imprisonment or both (section 15(b)).
13. Section 15(C) provides that any person who willingly makes a statement that is not true in an affidavit is guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of N20,000 or imprisonment for a period of one year or both.
14. The court can make orders as to the custody of a child considering the best interest of the child.
15. Lagos state has emergency numbers for calling in Domestic Violence Cases.
Women Abuse Domestic Helplines: 01 761 7508, 0808 575 4226, 0810 267 8443
Child Abuse Helpline: 0808 575 3932, 0810 267 8442, 0709 873 3732, Email: email@example.com
“A LAW TO PROVIDE PROTECTION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND FOR CONNECTED PURPOSES” © Women Empowerment And Legal Aid 2013
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