…Psychologist says the first violent episode should be the last
In recent times, Nigeria has experienced perturbing instances of domestic violence, not affirmative is the opinion that this has been happening from time immemorial, but the digital age has given these incidences a wider reportage. More so, the horror and emotional trauma of these incidences are better felt than in the previous decade and this had left nothing to be desired of these worrisome occurrences.
Although much has been heard about violence against women; statistics shows that ‘28 percent of all women, which is almost a third of all women in Nigeria, have experienced physical violence.’ While up to 43 percent of women thought wife beating could be justified on the grounds of ‘burning the food’, ‘arguing with the husband’, ‘going out without asking permission’, neglecting the children, and ‘refusal to have sexual intercourse’.
These has been greeted with a lot of campaigns centred around resistance and discouragement of domestic violence against women, unfortunately, some of these campaigns are yet to produce results, with statistics of domestic violence on constant rise every now and then.
However, more disturbing news has emerged in recent times, with the turn of tables, and men have been subjected to the same fate. Two or three incidences of wives stabbing their husbands have emerged, even from the conservative part of the society, because research shows that women in the North East were more likely to say that wife beating was justified.
Therefore, it is glaring that domestic violence is not monopolised by a specific gender, neither is it culture or religion bound. On Sunday, June 18, 2018 news surfaced that a wife, identified as Gloria Onyedikachi Obinna was beaten to death by her husband, who she got married to in a wedding that took place just barely 4 months ago. After beaten her to death, he dumped her body in a car.
The News Chronicle met with Oluwakemi Ijagbemi-Akintoyese, a Nurse and Clinical Psychologist at the Federal Neuro psychiatric Hospital, Yaba for an insight into the causes of the rise of domestic violence, actions to take for anyone who is in this situation, and the measures that should be deployed to curb the spate of killings that are results of domestic violence.
“The first thing that I think has led to the increase of domestic violence in Nigeria is the socioeconomic situation in the country. The situation is so bad and this is pushing a lot of people into psychological despair.
“A lot of people are finding it difficult to fulfil their obligations; meet family demands and they are not able to be the man or the woman they desire to be. A lot of men are on the street looking for jobs, so, this is creating a lot of pressure, despair and hopelessness within them.
“Often times, when they are confronted with challenges that they cannot handle, the next thing is to lash out to the next person they see. And the next person obviously around them is the wife/husband.
“One other important thing is that the increase of domestic violence is not only melted by the man to the woman, but now from the woman to the man. Gone are the days when the man slaps the woman and she goes away quietly, now, due to civilisation and enlightenment, women have been taught to understand their positions and rights, and whole lot of other factors, too are making women to stand up and begin to challenge the men. They want to challenge them in such a way that if care is not taken, it leads to more aggressive tendencies.
“Before now, what we use to see is passive aggression with women. When a man maltreats a woman and the woman becomes subdued, but then, you see her reacting negatively towards the man. Now, why we see more of the increase is that women are beginning to take a stand against this maltreatment by fighting it. Because for a long time, women have been subdued both culturally and religiously and now it is like a revolt, but before we generalise this, one thing we should consider is that the psychological abuse can lead to women getting into aggressive mood.
“Unfortunately, the path of revolt has not been helpful. They are demanding their rights in a way that is not constructive, and because it is not constructive, it is bringing untold problems alongside with it. A woman should understand her role, position and right but then, she does not have to violent about expressing herself.
“The only way to curb this is for people to talk. One of the things we have been told is that we should not wash our dirty linen outside. But we must learn to wash it, and allow people wash it, so you can stay fine and enjoy clean linen. Because society has always told us people should not to wash, people hide and pretend that all is well, when nothing is well at all.
“So we must understand that the women folk are just finding their feet and they are dealing with it because of the repressed emotion. They are dealing with it in the only way they know how to. The Church will tell you that God does not like divorce, and you see the man/woman is suffering in the marriage. It is basically a physiological and emotional thing and people should be thoroughly educated and access help as much as possible.
“There are always expectations when going into a marriage, and when these expectations are not met, there should be a way of correcting that. Recently, a woman was accused of stabbing her husband, and she said she only tried to scare him when the knife went into him. Incidentally, this man has been beating the woman and there is nothing that was done about it.
“Don’t allow yourself to be pushed to the wall; the first time a man/woman slaps his/her partner should be the only time that will be allowed. Don’t allow a second episode, the moment the second episode comes up, there will be a third, fourth and so on. You must get yourself out when you are still sane, and then you will be able to deal with the situation appropriately. Stay afar of, examine the situation properly, then, you will be able to make informed decision.”