Domestic Violence Perpetrated Against Women And Its Effect On Children’s Growth
This study was carried out to examine domestic violence against women and its impact on children growth using Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State as case study. Specifically, the study examined how the psychology of a child is impacted upon by domestic violence in the family, investigate the various forms of domestic violence women experience, and examine the academic consequences of domestic violence against women on a child. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 1000 responses were validated from the survey. From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings revealed that the major people that experience domestic violence is women and that women are frequently abused domestically in the society. Also, various domestic violence against women are sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse. Furthermore, the tested hypotheses using Pearson Correlation Analysis show that there is a significant relationship between domestic violence and child’s negative psychological change (.922**). Also, that there is a significant relationship between domestic violence and child’s poor academic performance (.899**). The study recommend educating people about family responsibility, as way of eradicating domestic violence among families.
1.1 Background to the Study
One of the major agents of socialization in the family and it’s the smallest unit of the society. The family is the first and most important agent of socialization because that is the place a child has he/her first encounter in life and its plays a major role in the development of the child. Psychology has proven that the brain of a child is blank like a white board and whatever that is written inside it, stays and contribute to the growth of the child either in a good or bad way. Activities that go on in the family between husband and wife affects a child negatively or positively. Research has shown that one of the factors that affect a home nowadays is domestic violence among couples. The higher percent of this violence is majorly against the wives in the home due to one reason or the other and it has become a trending issue. Domestic violence is a controversial issue which makes its assessment quite difficult.
Over the time, the term has borne various definitions. According to Amnesty International, Nigeria (2005), it as an act of threatening, harassment or violence of any kind either psychological, physical, sexual or emotional between adults involved in a relationship or previously involved in one, regardless of their sex gender. Violence against women includes also domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, human traffic, genital mutilation and forced marriage.
Many women experience different kind of domestic violence from their husbands ranging from physical abuse such as beating, slapping, using of objects on the woman, suffocating, etc. Sexual abuse is another kind of domestic violence women experience in their homes such as forced vaginal penetration, anal penetration, oral stimulation, forced exposure to material or explicit sexual activity. violence against women includes any spoken, physical or sexual act meant to violate either body or identity of a woman regardless of her age, race, ethnicity or country.
Dutton (1992) defines physical violence as any behavior that involves the intentional use of force against the body of another person and that may cause physical injury, injury and / or pain. The author defines sexual abuse as any unwanted sexual intimacy imposed on an individual by another. The issue of domestic violence according to research has led to the death of many women. Some were injured severely, some pregnant women lost their babies while some were disabled. In 1994, statistics from the justice office shows that about 92% of domestic violence cases in the world involved women.
Wopadovi (women against domestic violence) 2014, domestic violence threatens many Nigerian families and, unfortunately, increases in our society. It makes women feel less of themselves and reduces their dignity of person in the society. Every country frowns on the issue of domestic violence including Nigeria. In section 42 of 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended), guarantees all Nigeria including women, the right from discrimination on basis sex. Also, Section 34 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. One thing about domestic violence is that it can happen to anyone irrespective of their social status, race, religion or education.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Socialization is the process whereby a person acquires knowledge, new behavior and development. This process starts from the family. A child learns to talk, walk, call his/her name in the family which is the primary stage of socialization before the secondary comes. Activities that go on in the family between husband and wife affects a child negatively or positively. A child learns from his parents. Whatever a child witnesses his parents do, to him/her it is good and he copies the act. The development of a child takes different stages.
When a child witnesses his father beating and abusing his mother either verbally, physically, sexually, it may develop in the child physical, psychological, emotional and behavioral problems either short term or long term as a result of the forms of violence he/she is exposed to. This may corrupt the developmental process of the child and mar his/her destiny. It may as well affect the child’s education, how he/she relates with peers, sees the opposite sex, academic achievement, and other aspect of the child’s life. There has been an increase in acknowledgement that a child who is exposed to domestic abuse during his upbringing will suffer in his development and psychological welfare (Dodd, 2009).
Some emotional and behavioral problems that can result due to domestic violence include increased aggressiveness, anxiety, and changes in how a child socializes with friends, family and authorities. Problems with attitude and cognition in schools can start developing, along with a lack of skills such as problem-solving. Lehmann (1995), stated that in some cases the abuser will purposely abuse the mother in front of the child to cause a ripple effect, hunting two victims simultaneously. It has been found that children who witness mother-assault are more likely to exhibit symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Thus, this study tends to investigate domestic violence against women and its impact on children’s development.
1.3 Objectives of Study
The primary objective of this study is to investigate into domestic violence against women and its impact on children’s growth. Specifically, to:
- Assess how the psychology of a child is impacted upon by domestic violence in the family.
- Investigate the various forms of domestic violence women experience.
- Examine the academic consequences of domestic violence against women on a child.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions guide the study:
- What are the psychological impact of domestic violence on a child?
- What are the various forms of domestic violence women experience?
- How has domestic violence against women affected the academic performance of a child?
The study developed for testing the following null hypotheses:
- H01: There is no significant relationship between domestic violence and child’s negative psychological change.
- H02: There is no significant relationship between domestic violence and child’s poor academic performance.
This study investigate into domestic violence against women and its impact on children’s development on domestic violence against women on children’s development will bring to the notice of the populace the various forms of domestic violence women are exposed to in the society. The study will also help both governmental and non-governmental organizations to identify these abused families and children, develop strategies to combat domestic violence, and encourage socially inclusive intervention mechanisms in poor neighborhoods. The study will also be of immense benefit to the policy makers to make laws that will prevent such abuses on women and provide a stiff punishment for victims who abuse women. The study further will serve as a reference material to scholars, researcher and students who may carry out further research in this topic or related domain.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on investigating into domestic violence against women and its impact on children’s growth. It accessed how the psychology of a child is impacted upon by domestic violence in the family, the various forms of domestic violence women experience and the academic consequences of domestic violence against women on a child. The residents of Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State will be used as the focus of the study.
1.8 Definition of Concepts
Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy.
Domestic violence is violence or other abuse in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.
The action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.
This consists of anything, which individuals, institutions or processes do or fail to do which directly or indirectly harms children or damages their prospects of safe and healthy development into adulthood.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
In this study, our focus was to carry out a critical analysis on domestic violence against women and its impact on children development using Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State as case study. The study specifically was aimed at ascertaining how the psychology of a child is impacted upon by domestic violence in the family, investigate the various forms of domestic violence women experience, and examine the academic consequences of domestic violence against women on a child.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 1000 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are residents of Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State.
The findings from the analysis revealed that all the respondents are fully aware of the term domestic violence and its meaning. This was shown in table 4.2. table 4.3 shows that the major people that experience domestic violence is women. Majority of the respondents view in table 4.4 shows that women are frequently abused domestically in the society. Also, in table 4.5, the various domestic violence against women are sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse. This was confirmed from the responses of all the respondents consenting to them. Table 4.6 analysis shows that domestic violence against women has a negative influence on a child’s development.
Also, psychological effect, emotional effect, behavioural effect, mental effect and social effect were the various ways domestic violence against women in the family affect the child’s development. This was validated in the analysis in table 4.7. furthermore, table 4.8, 4.9 and 4.9 shows that domestic violence affects a child’s academic performance and has a psychological effect on them by increasing aggressiveness in the child, causing anxiety, creating fear and timidity in the child. Also lack of concentration in school, dropping out of school, playing truancy in school and lateness to school are among the various ways domestic violence against women affect the academic performance of a child.
The tested hypotheses using Pearson Correlation Analysis show that there is a significant relationship between domestic violence and child’s negative psychological change (.922**). Also, that there is a significant relationship between domestic violence and child’s poor academic performance (.899**).
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.
Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:
- There is need for educating people about family responsibility, as way of eradicating domestic violence among families.
- 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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