Domestic Violence Against Women In Nigeria Experience
Domestic violence is a serious problem in Nigerian society. 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. The study was conducted in Uyo local government area of Nigeria using a questionnaire. The results indicated that the majority of the respondents discourage the use of physical violence against females in Nigeria. It carries with it both short- and long-term implication on national peace and security of Nigeria because it affects women’s physical and psychological wellbeing. This study has yielded important findings indicating that there is need for government to take more interest in violence against woman. The findings indicate that majority of women discourage the usage of physical and sexual violence against their females. There is also a need for better job opportunities and female empowerment through education to reduce the risk of violence. In order for the targets of the Millennium Development Goals to be realized in the Nigerian communities, comprehensive approaches to peaceful coexistence that reduces gender inequality and violence towards women must be developed and implemented. There should be training for policy formulators on how gender dimension be tackled and integrated into policy and how these gender dimensions be integrated within the MDGs and the needs/seeds and made sustainable.
1.1 Background of the Study
Apart from CEDAW and other international instruments which Nigeria is signatory to 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 intimatepartner 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 Simukai Shamu 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
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 married women in Nigeria
- 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 involve 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 delimitated 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 against women in Nigeria experience.
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 against women.
The major objective of the study was to examine the impact of domestic violence against women. 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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