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Domestic Violence – Use Your Words, Not Your Fists By

In the past few weeks, cases of domestic violence have been all over the news. With men beating women mercilessly and women fisting up to men. People have been left wondering, what is the psychology behind it? Is there ever a valid reason to physically harm someone else no matter the situation? Why do some people support domestic violence? Whatever the case may be, it is clear that many people are in the dark and don’t know what to make of the topic.

The most common description of domestic violence is physical, emotional or physiological abuse from one partner to another in a relationship. Domestic violence could also be targetted towards children; it includes sexual abuse not only from a spouse or partner but also a family member. While each case is different, they all involve abuse or violence being inflicted by one person onto another and can even result in death.


Recent cases of domestic violence

Lately, there has been outrage on social media about domestic violence after discovering the death of a 22-year-old South African socialite. The young lady named Karabo Mokoena, who went missing and was found dead on April 29th. Further investigation revealed that her abusive boyfriend had killed her and proceeded to burn her body. Many were outraged, as they began sharing pictures with the hashtag, #saynotodomesticviolence, as people mourned a young, beautiful girl whose life was brutally cut short by an abusive partner. However, in Nigeria, Mercy Aigbe-Gentry, on May 1st, a well-known Nollywood actress posted a brutal image of her face, claiming her husband had abused her. People shared their comments under the picture encouraging the actress to forgive her husband in order to remain a role model.


The culture of domestic violence

Domestic violence has been a major issue in Africa for decades. In Nigeria, it is socially accepted because many believe it is necessary to discipline their spouses, particularly the women. Although efforts have been made to educate people on the topic, research indicates that domestic violence has increased here over the years. Research also indicates situations where 43% of the women feel beatings are justified. According to the, matters such as “burning the food, arguing with the husband, going out without asking permission, neglecting the children and refusal to have sexual intercourse” are reasons why women have been victims of domestic violence.

What’s the reasoning behind it?

Many people with deep traditional beliefs think they have the right to control their partner, with reasons along the line of women being unequal to men. Other reasons include undiagnosed personality disorders or a psychological disorder. Finally, others may have learned this behaviour from living and growing up in a household where domestic violence was a normal way of life in their family. Furthermore, the use of alcohol and drugs may also contribute to violent behaviour, as a drunk or high person will be less likely have control over his or her violent urges toward their partner,

Help is available

In conclusion, no cause of domestic violence validates the actions of the abuser. While these reasons are possible causes, which help in understanding why the abuser believes it is acceptable to assault their partner, ultimately an abuser needs to get help for their unhealthy and vicious behaviour. It is important for the victims of abuse to speak out and there are several helplines as well as centres available, such as the Mirabelle Centre. You can also contact the helpline on


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