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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN NIGERIA EXPERIENCE

  • Project Research
  • 1-5 Chapters
  • Quantitative
  • Simple Percentage
  • Abstract : Available
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  • Recommended for : Student Researchers
  • NGN 3000

​​​​​​​Background of the study

Apart from CEDAW and other international instruments which Nigeria is signatory to laws that forbid violence against women, the Nigeria constitution itself forbids it. The provision in section 42 of Nigeria constitution, guarantees all Nigeria including women, the right from discrimination on basis sex. Section 34 also guarantees every citizen the right to dignity of human person which in it subsection (a) it forbids torture and inhuman or degrading treatments, subsection (b) it forbids the subjection of anybody to slavery or servitude yet violence against women continues unabated, unchecked and this has been blamed on the loopholes in our laws, some of which undermine the provision for equality in the constitution.

In our society, many women are violently treated by their intimate partners while they suffer in silence. In some cases, domestic violence leads to the death of these women. This should not be allowed to continue because women are crucial to the growth and development of any nation and the world at large. They are homemakers, custodians of social, cultural and fundamental values of the society; and permanent change is often best achieved through them. Full community development is impossible without their understanding, cooperation and effective participation. Considering all these, women deserve better treatment but opposite are usually the case. Wife battery affects the physical and psychological wellbeing of the abused women and even that of their children. It is on this premise that this paper discusses the meaning of domestic violence against women, types of intimate partner violence, effects of these types of violence on abused women and their children. This paper also discusses causes and management of domestic violence against women. In conclusion recommendations were made to eradicate this menace from the society.

 Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviour in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. The definition adds that domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender”, and can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, economic and psychological abuse (Office of Violence Against Women, 2007). Domestic violence is also known as domestic abuse, spousal above, battering, family violence and intimate partner violence. It is a pattern of abusive behaviours by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family or cohabitation. Domestic violence, so defined, has many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse otherwise known as neglect; and economic deprivation (Seimeniuk, Krentz, Gish & Gill, 2010). Domestic violence and abuse is not limited to obvious physical violence. It can mean endangerment, criminal coercion, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, trespassing, harassment and stalking (National Network to End Domestic Violence, 2011). Domestic violence occurs globally (UNICEF, 2005). Families from all social, racial economic, educational and religious backgrounds experience domestic violence in different ways. In the United States of America, each year, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partnerrelated physical assaults and rapes while men are victims of about 2.9 million intimate partner related physical assaults. In parts of the third world generally and in West Africa, in particular, domestic violence is prevalent and reportedly justified and condoned in some cultures. For instance, 56% of Indian women surveyed by an agency justified wife-beating on grounds like –bad cook, disrespectful to in-laws, producing more girls, leaving home without informing, among others. Reports from IRIN (2007) show that 25% of women in Dakar & Kaolack in Senegal are subjected to physical violence from their partners and that very few admit that they are beaten – while 60% of domestic violence victims turn to a family member, in three-quarter of the cases, they are told to keep quiet and endure the beatings. The reports also reveal that a law passed in the Senegalese penal code punishing domestic violence with prison sentences and fines is poorly enforced due to religious and cultural resistance. In Ghana, spousal assaults top the list of domestic violence (IRIN, 2007) In Nigeria; reports reveal “shockingly high” level of violence against women (Afrol News, 2007). Amnesty international (2007) reports that a third (and in some cases two-thirds) of women are believed to have been subjected to physical, sexual and psychological violence carried out primarily by husbands, partners and fathers while girls are often forced into early marriage and are at risk of punishment if they attempt to escape from their husbands. More pathetic is the revelation of gross under reporting and non documentation of domestic violence due to cultural factors (Afrolnews, 2007). Domestic violence (DV) occurs in all settings and among all socioeconomic, religious and cultural groups. The overwhelming global burden of DV is borne by women. 1 It is a global burden with serious public health and social implications. It is a malady that cuts across gender and class borders.2 Affecting both males and females even though this study focuses on violence against married women perpetrated by their partners. Although women can be violent in relationships with men, often in self-defence, and violence sometimes occurs in same-sex partnerships, the most common perpetrators of violence against women are male intimate partners or ex-partners. 3 By contrast, men are far more likely to experience violent acts by strangers or acquaintances than by someone close to them. 4Many authors use the terms domestic violence and intimate partner violence (IPV) interchangeably.The term „domestic violence‟ is used in many countries to refer to partner violence but the term can also encompass child or elder abuse, or abuse by any member of a household.The World Health Organization (WHO) defines intimate partner violence as “behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours.”3 Women of reproductive age are more vulnerable to abuse by intimate partners than by any other perpetrator.4 The scourge of DV is seen among pregnant women worldwide, and in Africa a strong link between IPV and HIV infection has been shown by different researchers.4-7 Violence against women is a term used to collectively refer to violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. The United Nations General Assembly defines violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.3 The World Health Organization multi-country study indicated that worldwide domestic violence was widespread in all the countries studied.With 13–61% reported ever having experienced physical violence by a partner, 6–59% reported sexual violence by a partner at some point in their lives, and 20–75% reported experiencing one emotionally abusive act, or more, from a partner in their lifetime.5 Studies done in Africa demonstrate a very high incidence of DV as highlighted in a systematic review done by SimukaiShamu et al 2011.8 A study in eastern Nigeria showed that 92% of the victims of IPV were women while only 8% were men.9 Domestic violence appears with different manifestations and forms, which include: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, spiritual abuse, economic abuse and emotional or psychological abuse.3, 4 The impact of DV is far reaching having physical and mental health implications. Murder represents an extreme.




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