While the act of wooing could be so easy for some guys, it is an uphill battle for others. No matter how good a guy is, no matter the amount of money he has, irrespective of the beautiful lines and all a guy gives, some ladies are always prepared to give the negative.
These ladies are neither possessed nor queer. In fact, it is beyond their religious conviction and feminism however, those who belong to this circle have made a very strong decision of not getting themselves into anything called a relationship or near what is called marriage.
This report unveils how domestic violence affects children from abused homes, how their traumatic experience influences their decision and how it also affects their social lifestyle and relationship with people.
Aluko Omobola* A 22-year-old lady grew up with her ‘Tom and Jerry’ attitudinal’s parents where she was used to watching their free but dreadful Shaolin’s fists of fury fighting series daily.
The straight blast martial arts of her parents have made her left on a secluded pilgrimage for years since no one can feel the pain in her legs without putting on the same shoes. Ever since she has overtly locked herself in memories of the anguish of how her father used to pound on her mother to launch a hostile assault.
“I don’t know exactly when it all started, but as a kid, I could remember every little altercation that led to several beatings. There were days when it happened and mum would make up her mind to leave, people would appeal to her and she would change her mind.
“There were days when they had issues and we had to sleep in our neighbor’s house because staying at home when he was furious could lead to something else. It was just too much.
“There was a time when mum packed her bags, including ours. We got a bus to pack everything. I was so glad we would finally be able to leave. But again, they appealed to my mum and she agreed to stay. I was so mad, I hated her, and I didn’t hide my disgust at what she did. Well, she said she did it for our sake.
“I became so scared of losing my mum when I heard of a friend whose dad hit her mum with a stabilizer and she died. I was so scared of traveling and leaving her at home. Though a part of me wanted to travel and not come home. But I was too scared to leave my mum. My elder sisters hated coming home from school so they would travel to our relative’s places for holidays.
“There were days when mummy would wake up, pray and sob from midnight till morning. She was always praying to God to change his mind. There were days when our boxes were thrown out, and at the end of the day, the woman who did nothing wrong would be asked to apologize to her husband for throwing her things out.
“The abuse lasted for like 12 years. My Mom said she stayed because of us. I never understood that statement then. Eventually, it stopped, but I will never advise anyone to stay in such a toxic marriage”.
A report by the Lagos State domestic and sexual violence rescue team revealed that a total of 2,980 children have experienced emotional abuse. These children were said to have been exposed to domestic violence within their various homes.
Domestic violence has become a rampant issue of discourse for over decades, and it involves abusing or inflicting violence on one’s partner or even relatives and beyond. Children from an abused home are however at the receiving end and are made to leave with both physical, emotional, and psychological defects.
Domestic violence in homes has grown beyond affecting only one’s partners. Behind that, it now regenerates and creates a negative cycle if not abridged. Most of the affected children often tend to exhibit ill nature and these awful memories which prolong till adulthood give them much propensity to display some characteristics that affect their social lifestyle and relationship with people.
To this day, Omobola still finds it difficult to have a partner, and for her to apologize to anyone for an offense she didn’t commit is also a serious issue.
“I have an issue with dating, I don’t even want to date. It makes me feel like they aren’t worth the time, attention, and energy. I was affected psychologically. I don’t think it is something that can just vanish. I can only learn to leave with it. It’s still there but I am better though”, Omobola concluded.
Reported Cases of Domestic Violence in Nigeria
Earlier this year, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence also recorded 2,334 cases of domestic violence and four deaths in the state for the last six months. The statement was confirmed by the agency’s Supervisor, Virtual Response and Referral Service, Henry Okafor, who described domestic violence as a worrisome development in the state and its environment.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also disclosed that Plateau State, in North-central Nigeria, recorded about 288 domestic violence cases between January and May 2022. This also was confirmed by the Plateau State Coordinator of the NHRC, Grace Pam who asserted that there had been a sharp increase in the number of domestic violence cases reported at the NHRC office in Jos, the capital, compared to the situation two years ago.
According to Pam, “Factors like unemployment, cultural beliefs, substance abuse, witnessing family violence as a child, having low self-esteem, and a slow and ineffective legal process have worsened the situation” he noted.
A United Nations Women report also reveals that forty-eight percent of Nigerian women have experienced at least one form of violence since the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the report, “Verbal abuse and denial of basic resources were the most common forms of VAW reported (23 percent) since the pandemic began; denial of communication (21 percent). Similarly, 16 percent reported sexual harassment and 15 percent reported physical abuse,” was recorded.
Osinachi Nwachukwu’s Death
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Wuse, remanded Peter Nwachukwu, husband of the late gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu who died on April 8, 2022. The Singer was reportedly killed by her husband Peter Nwachukwu who was accused of subjecting the deceased to domestic violence that led to her death.
Part of the charges read: “That you, Peter Nwachukwu, 56, male, on the 8th of April, 2022, at Aco Estate, opposite police station, Lugbe, Abuja, FCT, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, did commit an offense to wit: culpable homicide punishable with death in that you caused the death of Mrs. Osinachi Nwachukwu by your various acts of violence and aggravated assault with the knowledge that her death would be the probable consequence of your acts.
“Statement of offense: Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse contrary to Section 14(1) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015 and punishable under the same section of the Act.
“Particular of offense: That you, Peter Nwachukwu, male, sometime between 14th November 2009 and April 2022 at Aco Estate, opposite police station, Lugbe, Abuja, FCT, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, did commit an offense to wit: emotional, verbal and psychological abuse on Mrs. Osinachi Nwachukwu (deceased) by humiliating her and making utterances like ‘you are smelling,’ ‘you are mad,’ to her in the presence of her music crew members.”
Effect Of Domestic violence On Children
Speaking on how the menace affects society at large, a lawyer Mrs. Richard while reacting said one of the effects often elicits mentally unstable victims which at the end eventually leave such children at the mercy of their violent partners or even grow up to later become a problem in society.
“It affects the already struggling economy. Some kids grow up to be equally violent or resentful. Domestic violence potentially results in negative cycles which are detrimental to society”. she added
A study by the Royal College of Psychiatry also revealed that it is very upsetting for children to see one of their parents (or peers) abusing, attacking, or controlling the other.
“Children of any age can develop symptoms of what is called ‘Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. They may get nightmares, and flashbacks, become very jumpy and have headaches and physical pains.
“Children dealing with domestic violence and abuse often do badly at school. Their frightening experiences at home make it difficult to concentrate in school, and if they are worried about their abused parent, they may refuse to go to school”. The study reads…
Experts’ Responses For Possible Solutions
Frowning against the menace, Senior Pastor of the living Impact Christian Center (LICC) Olasoji said the role of religious bodies is very unique in lending their voices and standing against social vices.
“Religious bodies have the unusual privilege of having people listen to them because they are seen as the voice of God on earth. So, we can wield the level of influence to ensure that people listen to what we say.
“Churches, mosques, and others must talk more about this. We must make the people under our care know the unacceptable behavior, that no matter the provocation, it is never enough to be violent against anybody. All that some people need is to see their leaders stand against any form of violence and they will identify with it.” he noted.
The Founder of Mum 2 Mum Global Foundation, Chinenye Jerry-Amah, also showed displeasure with the incessant increase of domestic violence in the country saying that It is killing women the most and taking a toll on a lot of homes.
“It is breaking homes, so we must be intentional about it amid keeping our homes safe. We must ensure that our homes are safe for our children. When there is physical or emotional violence, the children are not safe.”
To recover abused Children from the traumatic experience, Experts from women’s health in their solutions said they gave the following guide to end parents whose children are experiencing domestic violence. According to them, they emphasize that parents whose children witness or experience domestic violence should consider leaving the abusive relationship to make their child feel safe.
“Talk to your child about the importance of healthy relationships. Talking to them about their fears. Let them know that it’s not their fault or your fault. Learn more about how to listen and talk to your child about domestic violence.
“Talking to them about healthy relationships. Help them learn from the abusive experience by talking about what healthy relationships are and are not. This will help them know what is healthy when they start romantic relationships of their own. Let your child know that no one has the right to touch them or make them feel uncomfortable, including family members, teachers, coaches, or other authority figures.”