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‘Men, women are victims of domestic violence, but men are always silent about It’


Maryam Sanda and her husband, Bilyamin Muhammed Bello before she allegedly stabbed him to death.

Take it or leave it, the menace of domestic violence affects both men and women depending on who is stronger and is always bashing the other his or her partner.

But in the African setting, domestic violence is always attributed to the man, who is often seen as the dispenser of violence to the wife or opposite sex.

However, there have been a few cases where the woman (wife) batters the husband, who, (because of the stigma associated with a situation where the woman violates the man), often keeps mute over the matter.

Speaking to The Guardian on the issue, Coordinator of Girls Power Initiative (GPI), Comfort Ikpeme, said men and women have been victims of domestic violence, but men prefer to remain silent because of ego.

“We preach against gender violence, because it affects both man and woman but the primary and the vulnerable ones are the girls and the women. 

“It is not about retaliation, before now, men and women’s rights have been violated. We have men and boys who have been bartered or discriminated against, but the ones that have been reported most are those of the female. Men have probably decided to keep quiet, because they feel a man should not cry or complain about being violated by a woman.

“Men’s cases are not taken seriously but now the issue is everywhere and we have seen that the campaign against women and girls is given support from the government, international organisations, and the churches. Now men cases are being brought up.  I am happy that their own case is coming up and also the international community has realised that we need to tackle the issues.”

In her response, Alice Ben, condemned the act, but urged couples to trust each another.

“When you see a woman violent towards her husband, it is either the man has been cheating on her and she has been silence for too long or the women was born violent in handling marital issues.

“I believee in God and secondly, if we have trust in one another, there will be nothing like domestic violence in our marriages. And again, love should crown everything. If there is love, there will be no room for violence in the home,” she advised.

A married man who simply identified himself as, Yinus said: “I don’t think the women are retaliating violence for violence neither do I think the men are being more violent. What I think about this is that from the very beginning when husband and wife come together, they don’t seem to really study their emotional understanding. This can happen to men and women. The ability to control one’s temper is what matters most in relationships.  

“Young people going into marriage have to learn how to handle situations. On the men’s part, what causes violence is when they don’t trust their wives. They accuse their wives of infidelity and start abusing them, which could lead to death. The same applies to the women.”

Yinus noted that the trend has caused broken marriages in many homes and some couple died in the process.

“This trend has destroyed so many marriages and those that are unmarried are scared of going into marriage, but if couples can see it the other way, marriage is a beautiful thing that every couple need to enjoy,” he said.

A relationship analyst and journalist, Florence Oluhu, said: “I think violence as it affects us is a function of the economy in the first place, because when you are not financially capable, you get easily irritated.

“And I think it also has a lot to do with parental direction. When both parents cannot not make ends meet, they hardly have time for their children and what you don’t teach your child at home, your child is bound to learn from peers and you know peer groups could mislead a child.

“Children who grow up in homes where the father batters the mother are bound to take violence as a way of life and because when children from non-violent homes interacting such children, the negative effect will rub off on them.

“In all, we as women must get our priorities right. We must know that when an abusive relationship starts, it does not end. It goes on and on.”

‘Domestic Violence Increases Because Women No Longer Take Nonsense From Their Husbands’
By Kelechi Okoye

A lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Lagos, Dr. Olufemi Akintayo said told The Guardian that women are usually at the receiving end of domestic violence.

That, he said, has always been the case. “They are muscling up and reacting to societal issues. Most of the time they see a lot of anomalies but they decide to keep quiet and pretend as if they did not see them. Women should be allowed to speak up. If they continue to bottle up their anger, it could be very dangerous. In fact, bottled up anger is like gunpowder waiting to explode.

“For example, you see a woman works hard and get a car and her husband will use the car to carry his girl friends.  A woman will give her husband money for children’s school fee only for the man to use the money for something else. The children are then sent away from school, and you think she will not fight back when an opportunity presents itself?

“Domestic violence has increased because women can no longer take nonsense from their husbands. A woman struggles to make ends meet and provides for the family. When the man is there and he wants to feel on top of the world because of tradition.
“The family is the number one agent of socialisation, but I say that the woman is the number one. When the woman is not properly taken care of, it rubs off on the child. The school is also one of the agents of socialisation. The government is not helping matters by not paying teachers well. When someone is underpaid, he does not do his job happily and well. What this means is that the child in question may take up anti-social behaviours as a result of lack of care.  Successful socialisation builds someone’s shock absorber and so they are able to manage situations when they arise.

“The ID is a component of personality made up of unconscious psychic energy that works to satisfy basic urges, needs, and desires. The ID operates based on the pleasure principle, which demands immediate gratification of needs.

“If the ID in a person is successfully socialised, he can do things normally, but if the ID is not successfully socialised, a lot of issues will spring up. The ID is responsible for why people behave the way they do.
“When a woman marries an irresponsible man, she becomes frustrated and depressed, which could lead her to taking her own life but when she becomes frustrated and angry, she could turn violent and can kill. When the woman is left to do everything from chores, to providing finances, depression sets in, followed by aggression, then violence.

“The economic reality in the country too is not helping, as a lot of people are getting frustrated by the day. Interference from friends and family members could also lead to violence. Someone tells a woman that she cannot take nonsense from her husband, but in reality she takes it even more, and then the woman can act on what she has been told.

“Women should also stop getting married because they want someone to take care of them. What then happens when the man becomes incapacitated or loses his means of livelihood? Frustration would set in of course.”

He continued: “Marry someone who is responsible, who has potentials. Family background and upbringing is very important in the life of every child. When the foundation is faulty, the house cannot stand. Any family that teaches only the female child to do house chores and other works is doing a great disservice to the male child.

“Every child should be closely monitored. The right way to bring up a child is to give him the capacity to do anything and everything. Communication and discussion is key in every relationship and should be embraced by couples.

On the effects of domestic violence on children, he said: “The effects of domestic violence on children are unquantifiable”. They are so many. Some are anti-social disorder, scorning authority figures-that is lack of respect for constituted authority, alcoholism, smoking, premature deaths, social vices and so on.

“In fact, they end up not becoming normal humans. Most of them develop psychotic symptoms like aggressive tendencies. Most children who have witnessed domestic violence do not make good fathers and mothers. They end up abusing their wives, husbands, even their children and when they employ workers, they don’t pay salaries. It is that bad and it is sad.

Marriage Ought To Be Haven Of Peace, Not Theatre Of War, Says Ufuah
A Lagos-based marriage counselor, Emmanuel Ufuah spoke to DANIEL ANAZIA on the cause of increasing gender violence in marriage and other sundry issues.

In recent times, there has been increase in domestic violence in most marriages, particularly among young couples. What could be responsible for this?

The problem has always been there, but just that it is more pronounced these days. No thanks, to the technology age. Some of these things have been happening in marriages, but the advent of technology has made it more pronounced, as people now report such issues on social media through the aid of technology.

The question, why is it common among young people, there is no denying the fact there is need to go back to basic of family values, which hitherto was held in high esteem and cherished in our society.

Findings have shown that any man that has violence tendency will always manifest it during courtship. The problem is that most women are carried away or blinded by love.

Courtship is a period in which intending couples study one another to enable them understand who they are going to spend the rest of their life with. But due to fantasy, infatuation as the case may be, people are carried away, looking at the peripheral rather than the real person. From personal experience, I have been married for 14 years, I believe that courtship is the period to create a solid foundation for marriage.

During this period, there are certain things intending couples need to watch out for from their partner’s to know if they are and would be compatible. There are certain things courtship cannot reveal in a partner, even if you spend 10 years. What six months old marriage will reveal to you, 20 years of courtship may not reveal it because marriage is a different game entirely. One of the things that will help to really know your partner better are the personality traits. Judging from who we are, we are from different backgrounds—family, school, friends, and orientation. Twins of the same parents have different characteristics. So, it is left for intending couples to find out who their partner really is.

During courtship, they should be able find out what each other’s strength and weakness, their similarities and differences. The inability to understand these basic principles is the beginning of challenges in marriage. Ask yourself: Do we have the same mindset, goal, and strength?

Intending couples can adopt the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis to analyse who their partners really are and determine if they are compatible. Work on those areas that provide opportunities to you and minimise the areas that portend threats and danger and you have a good relationship.

Older couples appear to be more tolerant compared to the new generation of couples. What is your take on this?
As I said earlier, the knowledge of this generation (21st century) cannot be compared to 19th century. Today, at the snap of the finger, you know what is happening in another country and continent. What we are witnessing today are imported tradition or culture. As you are aware, in the western world, people take pride in how many men or women they have been married to and how many divorces they have experienced. In the olden the days, the major breadwinner in the family is the father, as the woman is a complete housewife and under the mercy of the man. It is not that these things were not happening, but the reactionary rate was very small. For instance, a woman with three or five children, completely depends on the man for survival. If you look at what is happening today, women are liberated financially. What kept our mothers in marriage was if I leave this man, where do I go and who takes care of the children and me? But for the 21st century lady, who at 22 is already earning a six- figure salary, she fends for herself by providing those things she would have depended on a man to give her. So, anytime a man tells her I own you, she replies, you don’t own me. The question from her will be what do you think you can provide that I cannot afford myself. I leave you, my life and wellbeing doesn’t depend on you. This makes easier for women to take decision as the case may be. So, the rate of enlightenment, economic empowerment on the part of women has really contributed to the high rate of broken marriages in our society.

What is the role and place of culture in marriage?
Government has not really helped matters. It is appalling that in our educational curriculum, history rather than being made compulsory across all class, is being debated whether to be offered or not. When you don’t know where you are coming from, you certainly would not know where you are going. The problem with most marriages is that there is no reference point; they don’t have anybody they look up to. Growing up, I realized that it takes a community to train a child. When your father and mother are not at home and you misbehave, a neigbhour could simply pick a cane and flog day-hell out of you. This had a way of molding our sense of belonging. Today, you dare not touch another woman’s child. We can’t be smarter than God. The Bible is clear when it states: Train up a child in the way he should go that when he is old, he would not depart from it. The Bible also said that foolishness is bound in the life of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far away. Spare the rod and you will spoil the child. The question begging for answer from 21st century parents is: ‘What have you learnt from your parent that you can impact on your children? You can imagine a man sagging before his child or beating his wife in the presence of his children. What we are experiencing today are products of what happened years ago, which are manifesting now.

In the past, domestic violence was associated with the men against the women, but today, there is a twist, as the women are now being violent against the men?
It is sad how things have really turned in our society. Sad in the sense that marriage that was supposed to be a place of honour, peace and where lives could be transformed has now become a theatre of war. Personally, I think the problem is caused by the way couples communicate. Communication is the live wire of any relationship, and in marriage, communication is key. For you to be able to communicate effectively, there are certain things you need to bear in mind. There are two aspects of communication in marriage — giving of information and information management. In most homes today, couples concentrate on giving and receiving information, leaving the second aspect out. It is important for intending couples to know the psychological make up of their partners. Marriage is not about age or what you have been able to accomplish economically. There are certain factors you take into consideration when trying to understand the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. First, what is the rate of emotional resilient skill of the particular person; how possible the person is able to manage information received. As marriage counselors, we usually advocate ‘discuss everything’ but the question is, the person you want to discuss everything with, is he capable of handling everything. There are times we need to apply wisdom. Keeping certain information away from your spouse does not mean you are keeping secrets from your partner. You have sized up the individual and know that he or she is not mature enough to handle certain information. Sometimes, what you know may be what will save you and what you know may also be what will kill you.

What is the role of religion and the spiritual?
We must know that marriage and family life in itself is older than the Church.    

Experts Blame Domestic Violence On Unchecked Feminist Drive 

From Oluwaseun Akingboye, Akure

A divorcee and mother of three, Damilola Esighini, attributed domestic violence against men to the Yoruba proverb that says: “If a goat is pursued to the wall, it turns back aggressively to attack its assailant.”
Esighini noted that it could not be far from the bid of the woman, who often times result into violence to defend herself, or express her displeasure against the man. 

“Although it is not the best option for any woman, many wives nowadays resort to violence against their husbands in an attempt to fight for themselves, as weaker the vessels.”

Recounting her marital experiences, she however, condemned such vices among women and advised that it was better for the woman to excuse herself in the marriage if it becomes unbearable. 

A social critic, Olusesan Ajayi, disclosed that in marriages whereby a man is married to a woman with higher social status, violence often times, tends to be against the men. 

Ajayi explained that such influential wives go to the extreme to exert their authority over their husbands, believing that the only way they could match the men strength for strength is by causing serious bodily harm. 

“Most wives that fall in this category would always boast that nobody can challenge their authority and actions meted on their husbands. In this kind of circumstance, the wife regards the man and his family as nobodies,” he said. 

Yinka Salami, a social analyst, said, there is usually no love lost between the man and wife in such situation, pointing out that relationship and marriage would only go to that delicate extreme if there is lack of love, care and trust.

Salami stressed that it might not necessarily be a retaliation of violence against the man, adding it could be so bad at times that it leads to expression of hatred, boredom and frustration by the wife. 

“The heart of a woman is like a dark deep abyss, at times you don’t know what they want. This is why it has become a popular maxim in the past that: What does a woman actually want?”

He mentioned that some women could be violent to a fault against their husbands despite the love, care, trust and affection the husband showers on her. 

A senior officer in a security agency who handles marital issues in Ondo State, Mojisola Sylvestre, confirmed that violence against man or woman never happens in a relationship if there is mutual love and understanding. 

She noted that more than 80 per cent of the crimes and violence in that regard were attributed to disloyalty, mistrust and lack of charity, especially infidelity. 

“From a professional point of view, a wife who engages in extramarital affairs often times desire the extermination of the husband if such affairs had gone too far and beyond control.

“At that point, she sees the husband as the obstacle and strong limiting force depriving her of enjoyment and freedom to satisfy herself. In such circumstance, she would stop at nothing to establish her freedom.”

President of Movement for the Survival of the Underprivileged (MOSUP), Dappa Maharajah, attributed female violence to the campaign for feminism among women of the 21st century, as a drive to rival male counterpart. 

Maharajah noted that the 21st drive for equality with men does not only expose them to a lot of crimes, emotional hazards and mental torture but also destroys marriage as an institution. 

“A woman can never be equal to a man; the attempt to change the order of existence to achieve this has been the result of the ugly trends happening around us. A man is a man with his peculiarities and a woman is a woman with her own distinct characteristics,” she said.

He referred to Biblical and Islamic dictates on specific roles of the two sexes, which would lead to abnormalities if any of them tries to usurp the roles of the other. 

Maharajah explained that a man, by nature is a reasonable being while a woman by nature is emotional, revealing that the bid by a woman to force her way on the man has most times been the cause of terrible violence against the men. 

He added that the emotional tendencies make the woman to commit crimes without considering the implications to their partners and themselves on the long run. 

“It is high time everyone learn to realize his or her natural roles as wife and husband. Every wife should desist from forcefully taking up the roles of the husband in relationship and marriage,” he said. 

Taiwo Odidiomo, a father of two and happily married man, said the greatest secret to a blissful marriage between a man and woman is to build their home on God. 

Odidiomo revealed that a home without God would definitely be filled with tension, stress, crises and problems to the fullest because the basic necessity to achieve greatness in any relationship and marriage was God. 

“Every man and woman must embrace God because God is love; and this is the basic thing needed in marriage. When you have God and love, you respect, obey and revere each other as stipulated in the will of God,” he said.

He urged married couples to build relationship and marriage on strong foundation of the word of God. This, he asserted, will remove frustration, depression, hatred, adultery and other vices that could cause violence in marriages. 

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