On domestic violence

DOMESTIC violence in Nigeria has been a problem for societal growth as it is in many parts of Africa. There is a deep cultural belief in Nigeria that it is socially acceptable to hit a woman to discipline her. This act of violence is widespread and shows no signs of reducing. It is believed that one out of three women fall victim of domestic violence. This has made domestic violence to become an epidemic. Repeatedly, we have woken up to read about the murder of people by their spouses.

Domestic violence comes in various forms; physical, sexual, emotional, and mental. In local communities, domestic violence is commonly seen as a normal punishment for a woman that nags, disobey or tries to question the authority of the man who is the head of the house. People believe that this act can be justified because domestic violence is seen as a therapy which men use to vent their anger and pain including frustration on a ‘lesser being’ who is the wife or children. In this setting, women bear the grief in silence believing that one day the man will have a change of heart and amend his ways.

Domestic violence has negative impact on the children because witnessing violence, in general, has been associated with emotional, behaviour, and learning problems in children. It also affects the developmental and emotional growth of children.

The government and citizens must join hands not only to eradicate domestic violence but also to ensure that they put in place a system that helps children to overcome the effects of domestic violence.

There is a need to educate the people that domestic violence is not an individual problem but a societal issue. Every individual must see it as an issue that affects us all.

  • Nkechi Agafie, Lagos.

 

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