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The Criterion decries domestic violence, advocates peaceful co-existence


Member, Board of Trustees (BoT), The Criterion, (Association of Muslim Women in Business and Professions) Muibah Abbas (Left), former Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) Alhaja Risikat Akiyode, Director, Office of Public Defender, Lagos State, Hajia Mariam Adeyemi, Chief Medical Director, Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Mrs Oluyemi Ogun, Managing Director Pinnacle Clinic Dr Maymunah Kadri, The Criterion, Lagos District Amirah Hajia Dhikrat Oshodi, BoT member Alhaja Jumah Alli-Oluwafuyi, Founder, Fajim Medicare Foundation Prof Fatimah AbdulKareem, Amir (President), The Companion (Association of Muslim Men in Business and Professions), Alhaji AbdulGaniu AbdulMajeed, former Ogun State Deputy Chief of Staff Alhaji Shuaib Salis and The Companion National Amir Alhaji Wale Sonaike during the Criterion Seminar in Lagos.

The Criterion (association of Muslim women in business and professions) has condemned the pervalence of domestic violence in the society noting that parental conflict is antithetical to growth and welfare of children.

National Amir of The Companion, Alhaji Thabit Wale Sonaike, at a seminar themed: “Beyond the feel of Love”, said domestic violence “is a serious problem affecting families and communities, there is urgent need to make sure that when spousal abuse occurs in our society, it is addressed because no marriage is perfect.”

He said the seminar is very apt and timely coming at this critical time when the society is faced with all forms of domestic assaults.

“We’ve seen quiet a number of sexual abuse here and there, although it is very prevalent with male abusing female though men can also be victims of domestic violence. The only way society can be better is when spouses are happy, love each other and ready to overlook one another shortcomings,” he said.


He urged cooperation among stakeholders to tackle the menace, adding that domestic violence prevention programmes would play an important role in improving behaviors among men and women.

“The message must be spread far and wide beyond the elites, so that we can see improvement in our society. As Muslims, we are enjoined to love one another, be it of the same faith or not,” he said.

The Amirah, The Criterion Alhaja Dhikrah Matesun- Oshodi, said choice of the theme was as a result of incessant challenges facing many marriages with its attendant consequences on morals, health, children, family and society in general.

She said: “Much concern is on marriages of less than a year, high divorce rate and the increase in psychiatric patients resulting from the feel of love.”

Director, Office of the Public Defender, Alhaja Mariam Adeyemi, urged Nigerians to raise the alarm when they suspect any form of abuse. “When you suspect any form of maltreatment make sure the issue is reported to relevant authority that will take quick action to save the person involved in such abuse. One of the reasons people don’t want to speak out is because of the fear of what will happen to the abuser and who will take care of victim,” she noted.

Adeyemi assured that Lagos State Government has provided an enabling environment that addresses issues of abuse and brings perpetrators to book.

“We have the family court, the domestic violence sexual offensive court which trial any one who is guilty of such offences. The court also assist victims of abusive relationship to take custody of their children after breaking up with their spouse.”


The Medical Director of Pinnacle Medical Service, Dr. Maymunah Kadiri, said spousal abuse is a behavioral circle. It started from troubled homes where aggression was the norm.

“Spousal abuse is not just now, it started with the fact that, an abuser is born in a home where there was disconnect, family issues and domestic violence. Male children from such home will grow up subconsciously with aggressive behaviours, while the female children will take abuse as normal way of life” she said.

She advised couples in an abusive relationship to seek the help of psychotherapist and those that are preparing to tie their nuptial knot should go for counseling and check the background of their spouses before getting married.

“Going for counseling is a good way to reduce spousal abuse. Couples planning to get married should go for counseling; you will get to learn certain things about each other. You can court for good 20 years and still experience spousal abuse and your marriage will scatter within six months. This could be avoided by asking question about the family history.”


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