Domestic Violence in Nigeria
There has been a surge in the rate of domestic violence in Nigeria recently and this is quite worrisome and saddening. Between May 2017 and March 2018, the Lagos State Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Response Team (DVSRT) received 1,771 domestic and sexual violence cases alone. Contrary to the information in some quarters, this condemnable act is not only prevalent among the uneducated folks, as even educated folks in the society are involved in domestic violence case.
Recently, the son of a former Chairman of People’s Democratic Party, Bilyaminu Mohammed Haliru was murdered by his wife. Even the popular Nollywood actress, Mercy Aigbe, complained that she suffered domestic violence. Just a few weeks ago a woman killed her husband and her two children before committing suicide in Benue state.
The United States Department for Justice described Domestic Violence “as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.” In Nigeria, we have read many domestic violence cases on the pages of newspapers, and on the social media, partners beating and killing themselves. We have heard cases of husbands treating their wives as sexual objects.
Most often, domestic violence is borne out of irreconcilable differences among partners, while women always at the receiving ends. The aggression from such experience is then transferred to the children, and the cycle continues.
It is, therefore, important to curb and drastically reduce domestic and sexual violence cases in our country. The abuser and victim of domestic violence must see a psychologist for psychological treatment when cases like that arise. Also, religious centers, particularly Church or Mosque must have a Counselling Department to interrogate and provide marriage advice to partners in order to avoid the destruction of marriages. The religious institutions must take the bull by the horn to save homes.
More so, non-government and civil society organizations have an enormous role to play in ensuring the eradication of domestic abuse in homes. Awareness and Sensitization campaigns must be organized periodically to inform the society about the evils of domestic violence, and why it must not be allowed to occur in our society. The National Orientation of Agency, a government-established agency, must also not rest on their oars and intensify more efforts towards this campaign.
Moreover, alcohol plays role in domestic violence cases. It is advisable for the abuser to drastically reduce the consumption of alcoholic drinks or better still, stop drinking alcohol and taking drugs. There are many reported cases of husband beating his partner after consuming alcohol and taking hard drugs. We must nip in the bud for a healthy and peaceful society.