The Network of University Legal Aid Institutions, a non-governmental organisation, has advocated the training of police officers to help in eliminate violence against women.
Mrs Odi Lagi, Senior Programme Officer of the organisation, made the call on Monday in an interview in Abuja.
According to her, the police are a government agency that needs to be trained to respond to domestic violence.
“They must be trained to see domestic violence as a grave offence,’’ she explained.
The programme officer urged the police to treat domestic violence as a crime and not to see it as a family affair that should be settled in the home.
“If the society recognises that violence against women is a crime, then it should support victims instead of stigmatising them,’’ she said.
She also said that the National Orientation Agency could do more in educating the public on all elements of domestic violence.
Lagi noted that though governments had provided laws, there was the need for victims to report cases of violence.
She frowned at the situation where some churches and other religious places would tell victims to go and pray rather than encouraging them to report cases to the appropriate agencies.
“Most churches would rather advise the woman to stay in the marriage and pray rather than take steps to address perpetrators,’’ Lagi observed.
She said that the agency, through its project, Amber Alert for Social Justice, “is working to educate the society that domestic violence was a crime with a vey dire consequence on the lives of those involved.
“It is also tries to get as many voices as possible working together to fight the menace.’’