The Menace called Domestic violence
According to the United Nations, Domestic Violence also called Intimate partner violence is a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain power or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It is also any form of harm that takes place in romantic relationships between adults or adolescents. Domestic violence doesn't discriminate against race, gender, sexuality, age, religion or economic class. This violence originates from the yearning for power and control. The abuser is convinced that he/she has rights over their partner and this maybe as a result of a trend of abuse in the abuser's family that made domestic violence acceptable.
According to medicine.net, "Domestic Violence is a major public health problem due to it affecting more than 2million women and 800,000 men."
Signs and Types of Domestic violence
Behavioral traits of Abuse does not always show at the beginning of the relationship but it intensifies as the relationship progresses. Partner violence gives signs before the actual act takes place. Some of these signs are:
- Verbal abuse: Here,he/she tells you how incapable you are to do anything right. The words said to you makes you feel belittled.
- They are always angry when you spend time away from them and when you are around them, they only say hurtful words
- They will want to control and influence your decisions about important milestones.
- They can result to intimidation with objects and they blame you for their behavior towards you.
- They insult your family and destroy your belongings.
- They want to control your income and locks you outside or inside the house.
These signs may not always be seen.Know that any abnormal behavior exhibited by your spouse that takes away your peace of mind is a sign.
Types of Abuse
- Emotional Abuse: It is a way to control one's emotions with words in a subtle way either to criticize, embrass, blame or shame. There is a pattern of bullying and words that are abusive. When he/she gives the silent treatment, its Emotional Abuse. They tell and make you feel like you do not deserve anything good, they joke with issues that are sensitive to you and make you feel like your feelings are in your head and do not count. This form of abuse is manipulative and tears down the victim's esteem. Emotional abuse can also be referred to as Mental Abuse.
- Physical Abuse: It is the willful act of inflicting injury or trauma to another person. This can start with the abuser getting angry and hitting walls, kicking doors, throwing things around, then it migrates to actual hitting and kicking of the victim.
- Sexual Abuse: This is when a person is forced to unwilling take part in any sexual activity. This is also known as Rape. Sex is not a man's right neither is it a woman's duty, it is simply natural to love a smart and/or strong person.
- Financial abuse: The Abuser takes control over the victim's resources and leaves them with little or nothing to sustain them.
Causes of Domestic Violence
In as much as we say there is no excuse to hit your spouse, Domestic Violence can be triggered by certain factors.
- Inter-generational Violence: Studies have shown that in Inter-generational violence, a child that has experienced abuse from parents or experienced parents abuse towards one another is more likely to see violence as an acceptable behavior and emulate these experiences in their adult relationships. Parental abuse is breeding ground for martial abuse.
- Social Factors: This factor is supported by some societal norm that supports Male superiority and sexual entitlement while maintaining female inferiority and sexual submissiveness. Male's are superior in certain things, and Women in certain things. Very rarely do Woman build homes, for example.
- Power and Control: This is a Coercive behavior is used by the abuser to gain power and control in order to subject the victim to domestic abuse. The abuser feels that he possesses more power and control over the victim and also the relationship and for this reason, they always want to show this control at every slightest provocation.
Effect Of Domestic Violence.
- Emotional and Psychological trauma.
- Physical health injuries.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
How Can Abuse Be Identified
- Physical abuse: fractures, bruising, burns, marks, pain.
- Psychological or Emotional Abuse: Being withdrawn, compulsive behavior, not being able to concentrate or focus, eager to do what they are asked.
- Financial abuse: Having unusual difficulty with finance, not paying bills.
- Sexual Abuse: Genital itching (hands in pants), not wanting to be touched, and sometimes abusers can have sexually transmitted diseases.
What Can Be Done
With the rate at which Light is on Domestic violence, avenues to get help from the menace is made easy.
- Get support: Get a place to seek refuge.
- Talk to services that are focused on helping victims of abuse.
- Document the incident.
- Stay with a family member or friend
Laws Against Domestic Violence In Nigeria
Nigeria has created specific laws to curb Domestic violence. They are:
- Violence Against Person's Prohibition Acts
- Protection Against Domestic Violence Acts
- Section 55(1)(d) of the Penal Code.
It should be known that abusers do not change easily without help and if he/she hits you once, they will do it again. The sequence which Abuse follows is: The abuse happen (i.e beating) then the abuser makes excuses for doing what was done then the abuser apologizes so as to keep the victim in the relationship and trys to make things feel normal again then subconsciously fantasize about doing it again. At every slightest provocation, makes excuses for the abuse and make it the victim's fault then the abuser strikes again.