Domestic Violence In Nigeria
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. Abuse can be emotional, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation, and intimidation. In recent times, domestic violence has been flooding Nigeria newspaper healings. There have been reported cases of domestic violence that led to permanent injuries or even death. So what are the types and causes of domestic violence, how can one identify a partner with the tendency of getting involved in physical abuse, why do Nigerians remain in abusive relationships?
Some common types of domestic violence in Nigeria
- Wife abusing or beating housemaid
- Parents abusing or beating children
- Relatives or House maid beating children
- Father abusing or beating mother
- Mother abusing or beating mother
- Boyfriend abusing or beating girlfriend
- Girlfriend abusing or beating boyfriend
- Sexual molestation
What are the causes of domestic violence?
Domestic abusers grew up witnessing violence. They see violence as the only way they can communicate effectively, manage their fears or solve problems. Some common triggers that make abusers to flare-up are:
- Arguments: An abuser can be violent when he/she is not winning an argument
- Financial issues: When business is suddenly slow or partner is unemployed or there is no sufficient income to pay the bills
- Infidelity: A cheating partner can make the other react violently. There is a case of a woman that chopped of her husband’s penis for cheating on her
- Insecurity: This can come in play when a partner feels like he/she is less attractive, maybe cause of their physical appearance, financial status, employment status etc
- Stress: This can be from home, work or extended family
Many experts believe psychopathology, developed by growing up in a violent and abusive household causes domestic violence to continue as a generational legacy.
Identifying a potentially violent partner
It is common among women to say “he will change”. If he cannot change in years that makes him an adult, what makes you think you can change him in the number of months or years you have known him/her? Abusers do not just start with violence in their relationships. In fact, they are the most charming at first. They will work to make you feel appreciated. But, no matter how hard the paint themselves white, they leave traces of abuse. Here are a few
- An excess shower of romance and gift: This makes the grounds of the relationship very soft so that when he strikes, you will always remember his good deeds and forgive.
- They get committed too quickly: Some even go to the extent of proposing too soon. They make relationship move too quickly so you can belong to them 100%. Some non-abusers may do this too especially when age is not on their side, but this is generally not a good sign.
- Showing over concerned: He may claim to have your best interest at heart, call you too often or go into stalking you. Some go through their partner’s phone to check who called and when.
- Play the victim: This tactic is common among emotional abusers. Play mind games to make you feel you are not appreciating their efforts. They blame every other person but themselves. And when they strike physically, they say you made them hit you.
- Short tempered and destroy things when angry: Some may conceal this character, but with time, it will get displayed. When they get angry, the hit the wall or break things. When you get married, they may hit you instead of breaking those things.
If these signs are happening in your relationship, even if he has not yet hit you, watch out, he/she may be an abuser. An abusive behavior will not change — no matter how hard you try, or how much you love him.
Why do Nigerians remain in abusive relationships?
Despite the pains inflicted by abusers, many Nigeria women stick to their man, married or not. A video of a student gruesomely beating his girlfriend in a hostel went viral in 2016. Most married Nigerian women cannot leave their abusive husband for religious and societal reasons. This has led to mental and physical incapacitation or untimely death.
Here are some reasons why Nigerian women keep abusive relationships;
- Cultural and Religious Belief: Nigerian women do not want to be seen as a divorcee. They pray as much as possible for a change in their marriage. This supernatural expectation is so strong that no matter how the abuse goes, they bear it.
- Fear of the unknown: Some women feel like they will be an easy target for the public if they are no longer with their husband. They also fear public ridicule. And they fear the husband may come back to kill them if they leave.
- Sound Sex Life: Some physically abused women openly say that they will never leave their man simply because their man performs very well in bed.
- Money: Most women remain with their abusive man because of the wealth at their disposal. They do not mind been beaten or told trash, to be seen with expensive things.
- Low self-esteem: This is probably the most painful. Some women simply do not appreciate themselves. They do not love themselves enough to understand their worth and this makes them remain in abusive relationships.
- Love: Some relationships are one-sided. It is either the man loves the woman too much or vice versa. So, no matter how hard one hits the pouring too much love, they continue to absorb it.
Often times, people say that women are at the receiving end of domestic violence, however, there are cases of men being abused physically and emotionally. This social menace affects both genders and committed by both. No matter who is hitting or who is at the receiving end, we must say NO to DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.