Domestic Violence And Its Effects On National Security: A Case Study Of Uyo
Domestic violence and it effect on national security which is any act of gender-based violence that results in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women has been very prevalent in Nigeria. It has been characterized as the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in the world. This study explored the public perception of violence against women in urban and rural areas in Nigeria. The population of this study was derived from the ministry of women affairs, in which 200 women were randomly selected as the population of the study, and questionnaire was the instrument of data collection which was duly administered. Analysis was based on simple percentage and hypothesis tested using the chi-square statistics
1.1 Background of the Study
The menace of domestic violence on national security can never be over emphasis seeing to the fact that it’s a pattern of abusive behavior in a relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner (Office on Violence against Women 2015). An intimate partner may be a current or former married spouse, common-law or civil union spouse, domestic partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, dating partner, or ongoing sexual partner (Breiding, 2014).Violence against women is widespread in the world. This is a burning issue of human rights often swept under the carpet as if it does not matter, especially in Africa and particularly in Nigeria. This is not limited to physical violence. There is also sexual, psychological, economic and political abuses women suffer at home, on the streets, in the workplace and in the political arena. It is worse in conflict situations or even under peace-keeping situations as women are often raped on a massive scale and later left to bear the child alone and care for the child without any assistance from the ‘unknown soldier’ or the state. Thus, such women are left to grind in poverty and the cycle of poverty most times, remains unbroken for generations (Ayeni and Ajibogun, 2013).
Violence against women is a major threat to social and economic development. This was recognized in the Millennium Declaration of September 2000, in which the General Assembly of the United Nations resolved “to combat all forms of violence against women and to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women”(UnitedNations, 2005). Such violence has serious implications for peace and security of any nation because they are intimately related with complex social conditions such as poverty, lack of education, gender inequality, child mortality, maternal ill-health, and human immunodeficiency virus syndrome (HIV/AIDS). The United Nation defines violence against women as any act of assault 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 private life (United Nations, 1993). Physical violence occurs when a woman is: slapped, or had something thrown at her; pushed, shoved, or had her hair pulled; hit with a fist or something else that could hurt; choked or burnt; threatened with or had a weapon used against her. Sexual violence means a woman has been: physically forced to have sexual intercourse; had sexual intercourse because she was afraid of what her partner might do; or forced to do something sexual she found degrading or humiliating. Though recognized as a serious and pervasive problem, emotional violence does not yet have a widely accepted definition, but includes, for example, being humiliated or belittled; being scared or intimidated purposefully.
Intimate-partner violence (also called “domestic” violence) means a woman has encountered any of the above types of violence, at the hands of an intimate partner or ex-partner. This tends to be one of the most common and universal forms of violence experienced by women. In Nigeria, violence against women is a prevalent harm to peace and security because it undermines the basic rights, freedoms, health and welfare of women and national development. It occurs in many settings and at many hands, including those of relatives, acquaintances, employers, insurgents and the state. Eze-Anaba (2010) observes that most forms of violence directed specifically against women in Nigeria seem to be met with silence not only by the state but also by much of the human rights community. Incidents of violence in Nigeria which negate peace and security include battery, beatings, torture, acid baths, rape, kidnapping, and even death through honor killing. It is estimated that one in every three women suffers domestic violence from the hands of those who claim to love and protect them (Hamm, 2000).
However, many of the victims do not speak out about violations of their rights due to lack of positive response from the society. Hence, domestic violence is so entrenched in the society that even the victims condone such violations of their rights with some claiming it is a sign of love (Bill, 2003). Furthermore, due to poverty, fear and economic dependence on men, many victims suffer in silence for fear of losing the economic support of the male “perpetrator”. Amnesty International (2005) thus observes that where a victim summons the courage to report to law enforcement agents, the issue is trivialized and termed a “private matter”.Violence against women occurs in all social and economic classes. But, women living in poverty are more likely to experience violence especially as it constitutes a threat to health. As a result of violence or a fear of violence, most Nigerian women are unable to protect themselves from infection and to access HIV/AIDS services. Although Nigeria has ratified international and regional human rights treaties providing for women’s rights to protection against such violence and women’s rights to health, unchecked domestic violence and lack of access for women toHIV/AIDS services are indications that the government is failing to meet its responsibilities. In addition to women’s greater physiological susceptibility, social, cultural, and legal forms of discrimination compound their vulnerability to HIV
Moreover, national security is commonly used to mean safety from danger and protection from internal, external attack or infiltration. This usage is tied on the apron string of defense and security forces. The cold war era gave the highest currency to the conventional security doctrine that rested on the assumption that only a strong military can effectively deter attacks and threats of force (Chris, 1997). On the contrary, John (1991) conceives security in terms of arms, armament and military personnel. He posits that security is the „relative freedom from harmful threat‟. In the post-cold war period, the concept of security has attracted a new thinking by contemporary scholars who condemned the militaristic thought of security insisting on the concepts of rehabilitation, transformation and expansion. (Booth, 1991) observed that „one of the themes of new thinking is the idea that security policy should have political accommodation as a primary aim, the adverse effects of identifying security almost exclusively with military strength was evident throughout the cold war.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of domestic violence in Nigerian society has become apparent over political and economic control of political positions and resources and these have a negative effect on national peace and security. In spite of the sanitization by government and local and international non governmental agencies against domestic violence more is expected to be done to assess the effect of domestic violence on national security.
Based on the aforementioned, problem of this study is to make assessment of domestic violence and national security.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main study of the study is to investigate the effect of domestic violence on national security. Specifically, the study aimed at the following objectives:
- To examine the effect of different forms of domestic violence on national security
- To examine the causes of domestic violence in Nigerian society
- To examine factors militating against effective national security
1.4 Research Questions
The research questions for the study were formulated as follows;
- How do different forms of domestic violence affect national security
- What are the causes of domestic violence in Nigerian society
- What are the factors militating against effective national security
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.
- Different forms of domestic violence does not significantly influence national security
- Causes of domestic violence does not significantly influence National security in Nigerian society
- There is no significant influence of factors militating against effective national security
1.6 Significance of the Study
The Study is significant in a number of ways. First, the study encourage citizens to admit the fact that when they get involved in domestic violence, this result in numerous number of crime related issues in the society.
The study draws government, private individual and cooperate bodies to accept the fact that violence from home has a proportional effect on national security issues.
1.7 Delimitation of the study
This study was delimited to the effect of domestic violence and national security using Uyo local government area as study focus.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
It was also difficult to gather materials especially relevant and current information related to the study variables, since the study is not common. This caused scarcity of relevant research materials from local journals, the researcher had to rely greatly on the foreign materials in order to put up this work.
Another difficulty faced was limited time given to researcher to complete the study. Limited fund was also a constraint to this work.
1.8 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
Summary Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to investigate the impact of domestic violence and it effect on national security.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of domestic violence and national security.
The major objective of the study was to examine the impact of domestic violence and it effect on national security. The study focused on an area where policy makers and researchers believe that Nigeria has no current problem. However, this study has yielded important findings indicating that there is need for government to take more interest in violence against women. The findings of this study have clear implications for policy and future research. Also, findings of the study have added to our understanding of the causes, forms and consequences of violence against women. The findings indicate that majority of the respondents discourage the use of physical violence against women in Nigeria. Younger respondents, ever married, respondents with medium level of education, females and rural residents discourage the use of physical violence against women than their corresponding counterparts in the study. People in Nigeria identified certain reasons as circumstances that may be justified for using physical violence on women. Such circumstances include infidelity of the woman, arrogant nature of the woman, bad behavior of the woman, disobedience, disrespect and not giving a man food in time, no matter what the situation is violence is not the last resort.
Violence against women is a fundamental and human right issue. It carries with it both short- and long-term implication on peace and security of Nigeria because it affects women’s physical and psychological wellbeing. This is because development will make little sense if the population of women is excluded from participating, contributing and reaping its benefits. That is exactly what happens when violence – together with harmful gender norms and discriminatory legislation prevents women from being full partners in development projects. Better job opportunities and female empowerment through education can reduce the risk of violence. However, in order for peace and security and the targets of the MDGs to be realized in the Nigerian communities, comprehensive approaches to peaceful coexistence that reduces gender inequality and violence against women must be developed and implemented. Women cannot take their rightful place in the power structure of Nigeria until the cultural attitudes and socialization practices are overcome by women themselves. The inferiorization and demonization of women that they lack the will and self-esteem to actually seek and gain power must be overcome by a broader informal and formal education system. Educational levels of women must improve. Illiteracy, the bane of the majority of women, must be battled. Harmful traditional practices militating against women having the time and space to do politics must be stopped. Women on their own must respond to these, by speaking out and creating support base for themselves and also try as much as they can to inculcate moral values into their children.
Haven completed the study, the researcher made the following recommendations; there should be advocacy and legislation on the abolition of all traditional practices that limit women’s access to credit, economic resources, property rights and right to inheritance. Gender Policies that state the strategies to improve women’s economic rights, should be made effective. Poverty reduction strategies should have substantive gender components. Hence, government should mainstream gender and rural women in the implementation of development initiative such development initiatives. All the programs for the development of rural areas and empowerment of rural dwellers should articulate the needs of rural women and allocate resources to address these needs as a matter of priority. By so doing, such policies like the NEEDS/SEEDS policy should as a matter of urgency recognize the contributions and situation of rural women and the implications of violence on rural women empowerment. There should be training for policy formulators on how gender dimensions be tackled and integrated into policy and how these gender dimensions be integrated within the MDG’s and the needs/seeds and made sustainable. efforts to domesticate CEDAW and pass the Abolition of all forms of Discrimination Law and the Administration of Criminal Justice Law should be renewed. Hence, effective domestication of these laws should be decentralized and implemented at all levels of government.
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