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Keywords: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN ABEOKUTA METROPOLIS
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviour which involves or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. Intimate partner violence is violence by a spouse or partner in an intimate relationship against the other spouse or partner.
Domestic violence can take place in intersexual or same sex relationships and sometimes involves violence against the children in the family. Domestic violence can take a number of forms including physical, verbal emotional, economic and sexual abuse, which can range from suitable coercive forms to marital rape and violent physical abuse that may result in disfigurement or death. Domestic murders include horror killings and deaths.
Globally, a wife or female partner is more commonly the victim of domestic violence although the victim can also be the male partner. Both partners may also engage in abusive or violent behaviour or the victim may act in self-defenses or retaliation. Where as women who experience domestic violence, at least in the developed world, are often openly encourage to report it to the authorities, it has been argued that domestic violence against men is often unreported because of social norms and pressure against such reporting, those that are often face social stigma regarding their perceived lack of denigration of their masculinity.
Domestic violence often occurs when the abuser believes that abuse is acceptable, justice or unlikely to be reported. It may produce intergenerational cycles of abuse in children and other family member who may feel that such violence is acceptable or condemned.
Awareness, perception and documentation of domestic violence differ widely from countries of abuse during which tension rise and act of violence is committed, followed by a period of reconciliation and calm.
Victims of domestic violence may be trapped in domestic violent situations through isolation, power and control, cultural acceptance, lack of financial resources, fear and shame to protect children as a result of abuse, victims may experience physical disabilities, chronic health problems, mental illness, limited finances and poor ability to create healthy relationships. Victims may experience psychological problems from early ages, such as deregulated aggression which may later continue to be the legacy of abuse when one reaches adulthood. Domestic violence often happens in the content of forced or child marriage.
Domestic violence is an important concern for many societies and policymakers worldwide. Statistics available for European countries show that between 20 and 25 percent of women have been victims of physical abuse at least one during their adult lives and around 10 percent have suffered sexual abuse involving the use of force [Calturo, 2011]. Estimate for the U.S from the national violence against woman survey shows similar numbers out of 3 women surveyed haven been raped or physically assaulted since the age of 18 years [Tyadin and Thoerines, 2000]. More over, in the most of the cases of violence against women, the crime is committed by the intimate partner. This is why many countries have adopted reforms aiming at simplifying the dissolution of marriage when one of the spouses wants to end the relationship. Since the early 1970s, many states in the U.S removed fault as a ground for divorce and almost all of them allowed one of the spouses to file a petition for divorce without the consent of the other. Many European countries have followed similar path during the past 50 years. Making divorce easier can affect the incidence of domestic violence, either by facilitating the dissolution of abusive relationship or by making the threat of leaving more credible, those improving the situation of the victims within the marriage.
Economics theories of household bargaining suggest that spouses well being outside the marriage may also affect within household distribution through changes in relative bargaining position [Mceiroy and Horney, 1981, Landberg and Pollak, 1993, Chappori, 1988, 1992]. In spite of the important link between domestic abuse and divorce legislation, the available empirical evidence in the economic literature is scarce and shows no connecting result [Dec. 2003, Stevenson and Wolfers, 2006]. The relationship between divorce and domestic abuse has also capture the attention of sociology and criminology literature. Although alternative theories have been proposed to explain this relationship but empirical research in these fields has, in general failed to provide credible causal estimates.
These research studies showed how divorce law affects domestic violence. It begins by outlining a simple model of bargaining within the mechanism through which easier divorce influences the incidence of spousal violence. The main prediction of the model is that a reduction in the cost of divorce improves the bargaining position of abused spouses by increasing their threat point (i.e. the minimum utility level required from the marriage to be continued) and this leads to a lower equilibrium level of spousal violence among intact couples.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
While domestic violence has been recognized as one of the most entrenched and pervasive forms of violence in Nigeria today, its influence on children is yet to receive the same degree attention. (Tony, 2002) this is despite the fact that every year in Nigeria thousands of children as well as women suffer physically, psychologically, and sexually as a result of act of violence against them in the home in the urban as well as the peri-urban areas. Children who are victims or witnesses of domestic violence may develop physical, psychological and behavioural problems as a result of physical, verbal psychological and other forms of violence. This may affect their participation in school as they may go to school when they are too scared to learn and a good number of them may lag behind in class as well as in life due to exposure to domestic violence (Wather, 2003). This has resulted in a trend where many families within some selected local governments are violent ridden. This research therefore conjectured that some families have the tendency of acting violently, showing disrespects to each other and often using abusive words domestically in the area of study.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main objectives of the study were to;
· Find out the concept of domestic violence in Abeokuta metropolis;
· Examine the forms of domestic violence in the town;
· Find out the possible causes of domestic violence in the area and their effects in the town, and
· Suggest possible ways of eliminating or reducing the occurrence of domestic violence in the town.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were raised for the purpose of the study.
(1) What constitutes domestic violence in Abeokuta?
(2) What are the forms of domestic violence in the area of the study?
(3) What are possible causes of domestic violence in Abeokuta metropolis?
(4) What are the effects of domestic violence in the town?
(5) What can be done to reduce domestic violence in Abeokuta metropolis?
Keywords: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN ABEOKUTA METROPOLIS