Prevalence Of Gender Based Violence Among Residents In Nukkai Ward Of Jalingo, Taraba State
The prevalence rate of gender-based violence is steadily on the rise, and aside the weak legal systems, primary care for support is almost non-existent, hence the need for this study to assess the level of knowledge that individual sposses about this in a rural community. The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge of gender-based violence and use of primary care for support among residents in Nukkai Ward of Jalingo, Taraba state. Three specific objectives were formulated to guide the study. The study employed a quantitative descriptive survey design, using a self-designed questionnaire with closed-ended questions to collect data used for analysis in the study. Data generated for the study were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean, frequency and percentages. The study revealed the effects of gender-based violence to include stigmatization (77.7%), loss of self-worth (70.2%), change in behavioral patterns (75.0%), intellectual deficits (79.1%), hampers the development of life skills and self-discipline (76.8%), concentration problems (70.5%), depression and anxiety (74%), suicide attempts (75.9%), fear of intimacy or closeness (76.4%), and drug and alcohol abuse (60.2%). Also, the primary and supportive care available for the treatment of violence and abuse were shown to include physical care (82.9%), mental care and psychotherapy (72.4%), counseling and continuing care (90%), wound and injury care (81.0%), and cognitive therapy (85.2%). In conclusion, formulation of a framework to protect women and children from all forms of violence especially in family or enclosed settings is necessary to tackle this issue from the grassroots level. It was recommended that awareness should be created and educational interventions ion the knowledge, attitude and awareness of community residents towards gender-based violence and use of primary care for support should be promoted.
1.1 Background to the Study
The welfare and status of women and children reflect the conditions of their environment. The objective of this study is to provide information about ways and means available to improve the social well-being and health status of women and children in the face of violence. Violence is a term that covers a range of abusive behaviors perpetrated within the context of the family or society which could be physical, sexual or verbal. For example, marital abuse is a form of violence perpetrated within the context of an intimate relationship by one’s partner over one, at the detriment of one’s happiness and good health. It has synonyms like intimate partner abuse. Although, this is a serious issue plaguing the health status of women, there is paucity of data on domestic violence, principally because it is underreported and because of the weak legal systems towards ensuring rights of women and children is upheld. Most popular and academic literature have focused extensively on issues connected with the women’s liberation movement; the fight for equality and freedom of speech, and neglected domestic violence, sexual violence perpetrated against women and their health status. In Nigeria, marital abuse has become a scourge and there is a report that 50% of Nigerian women have been battered by their husbands at one time or the other (Abama and Kwaja, 2019).
From a sociological point of view, violence could be defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one individual intended to exert power and control over another individual in the context of an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or co-habitation or in an immediate environment. Violence is maintained by societal and cultural attitudes, institution, and laws that are not consistent in regarding this violence as wrong. Moreover, awareness, perception and documentation of forms of violence differ from country to country, and from era to era, since some forms of violence like domestic violence may or may not constitute a crime, depending on local status, severity, and duration of specific acts. Other variables such as alcohol consumption, substance intake and mental illness are also frequently associated with abuse (Abama and Kwaja, 2019).
Studies show that providing nursing care for a woman who has experienced sexual assault or abuse is a very complicated task that requires insight, experience, proper education and a holistic “whole person” healthcare approach (Sara, 2014). But that is a tip of the iceberg as sexual assault is a global menace involving both male and female sexes across ages. Sexual assault encompasses a range of acts, including coerced sex in marriage and dating relationships, rape by strangers, organized rape in war, sexual harassment (including demands of sex for jobs or school grades), and rape of children, trafficking of women and girls, female genital mutilation, and forced exposure to pornography (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 2010).
In addition to physical contact, verbal or visual abuse or any act that forces a person to join in unwanted contact or attention is also classified as assault or violence (National Women’s Health Information Center, 2018). In general, approximately 15 to 25 percent of women and 5 to 15 percent of men were sexually abused and assaulted when they were children. It can also be said that, 88.7% of rape and other forms of violence victims are women, the other 11.3% being men (David, 2014). Sexual assault can involve a child or teenager (Child sexual abuse, sexual abuse), an adult (Adult sexual abuse) or aged person over 65 years (Elderly sexual abuse).
Violence and abuse towards children have been reported to be common in both developed and developing countries with an estimated prevalence between 2.5% – 7.8% in males and 11.4%–13.5% in females (Finkelhor, 2011). The long-term consequences of experiencing violence and abuse can be devastating and have been well documented in previous literature. The frequency of victimization in high-risk populations like adolescents in institutional care has hardly been studied but can be put around 20% (Christopher et al., 2010). This number is in no way satisfactory as almost one third of the abused patients had never discussed their experiences with anyone; only 17% had informed their doctors. Most violent acts and sexual assaults occurred after women voluntarily consumed alcohol, or were forcefully assaulted whereas few occurred after women had been given a drug without their knowledge or consent (Christopher et al., 2010). Research has shown beyond reasonable doubt that those who experience violence and abuse in any form are more likely to be diagnosed with mental disorders, have suicide-related behaviour, and be at increased likelihood for experiencing adult victimization (Afifi, Henriksen, Asmundson, & Sareen, 2012; MacMillan, Tanaka, Duku, Vaillancourt, & Boyle, 2013; Pérez-Fuentes et al., 2013). There is need for this study to evaluate the knowledge of gender-based violence as well as primary care and support available to help alleviate the harmful effects it may have on the victims.
1.2 Statement of Problem
According to the Inter-African Committee on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children (2015), most women accept violence against themselves because of social prejudice and their low self-esteem. The perpetuation of gender-based violence has continued due to women and children’s economic dependence on men, patriarchy and the differential socialization processes that women pass through (Pallitio and Ocampo, 2014). In Nigeria where this study is been carried out, it has been observed that gender-based violence is not only widespread but there is usually no medical intervention or therapeutic care support provided for these victims. This could be due to certain factors such as shame and stigmatization if the victim should open up, as well as weak institutional systems to provide adequate care for the victims. Irrespective of the fact that, there has been explicit acknowledgement of the state’s responsibility for human rights’ violation by private actors in both public and private spheres in several international conventions, in particular the Vienna Accord of 1993 and the Beijing platform of 1995, domestic gender-based violence remains highly prevalent and is still a major cultural blind sport (Aderinto, 2013). This study, therefore aims at investigating the knowledge of gender-based violence and use of primary care for support among residents in Nukkai Ward of Jalingo, Taraba state.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence of gender-based violence among residents in Nukkai Ward of Jalingo, Taraba state. Specifically, the following objectives will guide the study;
- To assess the level of prevalence of the forms of gender-based violence among residents in Nukkai Ward of Jalingo
- To ascertain the knowledge on the effects of gender-based violence among residents in Nukkai Ward of Jalingo
- To determine primary and supportive care available for the treatment of gender-based violence in Nukkai Ward of Jalingo
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were formulated to guide the study based on the research objectives;
- What is the level of prevalence of the forms of gender-based violence among residents in Nukkai Ward of Jalingo?
- What is the knowledge on the effects of gender-based violence among residents in Nukkai Ward of Jalingo?
- What are the primary and supportive care available for the treatment of gender-based violence in Nukkai Ward of Jalingo?
HO1: Gender-based violence is not prevalent among residents in Nukkai Ward of Jalingo, Taraba state
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study would be significant to women, children, healthcare workers and the public. This study will provide results on the prevalent forms of abuse and gender-based violence as well as the effects on the health and quality of life of the victims. Furthermore, the findings from this study will provide necessary information for heaklth and community stakeholders to provide adequate primary care for victims of violence and abuse as well as implement strategies that would help to mitigate the negative effects it may have on the women and children. In the same light, the findings of the study will contribute to scientific literature and assist those working in other government sectors such as education, child welfare, and social care, to advocate for the prevention of violence in all its forms on women and children’s health. Finally, information gathered from this study will serve as a source of literature and guide for future research and as well serve as empirical reference for further studies in this area.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Prevalence is the proportion of a particular population found to be affected by a medical condition at a specific time.
Is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic or national boundaries. Worldwide, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime.
1.8 Organization of Study
The study comprises of 5 chapters. In chapter one, the concepts are introduced and the problem of the study is established with the research objectives and questions. Chapter two presents the literature review while chapter three presents the research methodology. The fourth chapter presents the results and discussion, and the last chapter presents the conclusion and recommendation.
5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations
From the findings of the study was able to assess thelevel of awareness of the forms of gender-based violence and revealed high levels of knowledge of the different types of violence. The study further revealed the effects of gender-based violence to include stigmatization, loss of self-worth, change in behavioral patterns, intellectual deficits, hampers the development of life skills and self discipline, concentration problems, depression and anxiety, suicide attempts, fear of intimacy or closeness, and drug and alcohol abuse. Also, the primary and supportive care available for the treatment of violence and abuse were shown to include physical care, mental care and psychotherapy, counseling and continuing care, wound and injury care and cognitive therapy. The study concludes that the formulation of a framework to protect women and children from all forms of violence especially in family or enclosed settings is very necessary as this will also involve the formulation of strategies that will help tackle this issue from the grassroots including rural areas and communities.
The following recommendations were made based on the findings of the study;
- There is a need for awareness and educational interventions in the knowledge, attitude and awareness of community residents towards gender-based violence and use of primary care for support. This will seek to strengthen care and therapeutic support intervention.
- Health care authorities and stakeholders should ensure the provision of adequate care for victims of violence, this should also address the harmful effects of gender-based violence in the community.
- All health stake holders should intensify their effort in sensitizing the general public to make use of primary and supportive care made available at the health facilities as well s enact legal measures to help fight the menace of violence in all its forms.
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