CRIMINOLOGY

CAUSES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE AGAINST WOMEN AND ITS EFFECTS ON FAMILY RELATIONSHIP IN FOUR SELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Violence against women in the home has been part of human history and human societies have lived with it without feeling that it was anything wrong (Godwin, 2005). Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women. Violence against women continues to be global epidemic that kills, tortures and maims physically, psychological, sexually and emotionally. It is one of the most pervasive of human rights violation that denies women of their security, equality, dignity, self-worth and right to enjoy fundamental freedom. Violence against women is present in most countries in the world, cutting across boundaries of culture, class, education, income, ethnicity and age (UN declaration on the elimination of violence Against Women and General Assembly Resolution, 1993).

 

Women Aid Collective (WACOL 2004) stated that domestic violence could be anything that constitutes an action meted out to someone which is capable of depriving the individual from his or her basic human right. (Women Aid Collective 2004) added that domestic violence is a form of bullying whereby a person is dealt with physically, thus resulting to injury on the victim just because the perpetrator does not know of any other way to handle the situation.

Kantor in Yogo (2008), stated that domestic violence is a pressing global issue which is often associated with women’s isolation from supportive kin ties. It is an essential component of gender-based violence which has been defined as those actions and activities that cause physical, psychological and emotional harm to a person just because of mere misunderstanding, (Ityavyar in Okeph, 2005). As a phenomenon, however, violence against women relates to a broad spectrum of issues affecting the existence of the female specie in relation to the family. The female folks suffer in their matrimonial homes because God Almighty constituted marriage in the Garden of Eden, made women help mate and consequently our social system places women in a disadvantaged position (Okpeh, 1999).

The study of Secretary General of United Nation (2004) explained that early marriage involves the marriage of a child below the age of 18 years. Young girls have not achieved full maturity and capacity to act, and lack ability to control their sexuality. When they marry and have children, their health can be adversely affected. Early marriage has inflicted dangerous and devastating effects on young girls who are compelled to tie the knot in most cases. The convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination.

Against Women (CEDAW) adopt in (1979) affirmed that the principle of fundamental rights and freedom of every human being are guided by a broad concept of human right that stretches beyond civil and political rights to the core issues of economic survival, health and education that affect the quality of daily life for most women and children. United Nation General Assembly (1993) postulated that violence and abusive behaviour continue to be a major cause of death, injury, stress and fear in various families. Domestic violence and abusive behaviour are responsible for poor family relationship, although personality conflicts and troubles within a marriage affect intimate behaviour, (Olson and Defrain 2006).

Htt://bahai-library.com.(2000) stated that, family relationship refers to unity which is strengthened by love. The members of the family all have duties and responsibilities toward one another and to the family as a whole. These duties and responsibilities vary from member to member because of their natural relationships. Such behavior can be seen in a man that stopped the wife from government employment and made her to engage in preparation and sales of local wine (burukutu) for many years. The woman could not further her education after primary school certificate.

1.2  Statement of the Problem

This study’s problem was based on, the researcher’s experiences, conversations and observations on the happenings in families. Husbands and wives do not discuss family issues but husbands take sole decisions. Through interactions with friends and colleagues, women talk about their situations at home, there they are commonly abused by their spouses through battering, sexual abuse, giving out female children in marriage at the early years and depriving them neither to participate in the  decision of child marriage nor to take part in family affairs. Such early marriages limit education, affects young girls’ academic pursuits, the future compromised and other opportunities often leading to early child bearing and increased health risks. Early child bearing affects female reproductive organs and health problems such as unsafe abortion, and obstetric fistula. Husbands take decision whether it suits the family or not. Though most wives and children suffer the consequences of the heads of the families decisions.

It is also observed that violation of women at home has made women situation difficult to participate fully in issues concerning them in the home and in the society. As such, women have no freedom to speak for themselves because of fear of punishment from their husbands. Men think women are meant for giving birth, taking care of the children and doing only domestic works. The problem statement pf the study therefore was whether domestic violence against women had effects on family relations.

1.3  Objectives of the study

The main objective of the study was to assess domestic violence against women on family relationship. The specific objectives were to:

1. assess the effects of spousal abuse against women on family relationship in Taraba State;

2. examine the effects of sexual abuse against women on family relationship in Taraba State;

3. identify the effects of early marriage of young girls on family relationship in Taraba State; and

4. examine the effects of deprivation of women rights in decision making on family relationship in Taraba State.

1.4 Research Questions

This study provided answers to the following research questions

1. To what extent has spousal abuse against women affected women and family relationship in Taraba State?

2. What are the effects of sexual abuse against women on family relationship in Taraba State?

3. To what extent has early marriage of young girls affected women on family relationship in Taraba State?

4. To what extent has deprivation of women’s rights in decision making affected family relationship in Taraba State?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were postulated:

H01: There is no significant relationship between the effects of spousal   abuse against women and family relationship in  Taraba State.

H02: There is no significant relationship between the effects of sexual    abuse against women and family relationship in Taraba State.

H03: There is no significant relationship between the effects of early marriage of young women and family relationship in Taraba State.

H04: There is no significant relationship between the effects of deprivation of women’s right in decision making and family relationship in Taraba State.

1.6 Basic Assumption

1. This study assumed that domestic violence against women affects  women physically, morally, emotionally and psychologically. This  retards the progress of families, the state and the nation at large.

2. It is assumed that when domestic violence against women is controlled, it will reduce the rate of sexually transmitted diseases (HIV/AIDS) and there will be fewer rates of deaths in the families and state.

3. It is assumed that talks on domestic violence against women will create awareness, thereby allowing women to participate in decision making in the family which will contribute to the development of the families, state and Nigeria as a nation.

1.7 Significance of the study

The findings of this study will help women in Taraba State to identify  domestic violence. Through enlightenment they will learn to cope with such situations and be able to enjoy their relationship in the family.

The findings of this study will enable home economists to improve the content in family life relationship through teaching of students. It will help husband and wife to sit together to discuss family issues and take decision.

The findings will educate individuals and families through teachings in the classrooms in Home Economics subjects and courses, through seminars, conferences, giving talks to religious organizations in the church and mosques, in public religion gatherings. The knowledge gained from such teaching will broaden the knowledge of men to consider women as instrument for change because when women are educated, the whole family will be educated either directly or indirectly.

The findings will make husbands to involve their wives in decision making for the progress of their families and to give women rights and privileges for a harmonious relationship since the genesis of human behaviour starts in the home.

1.8  Delimitation of the Study

The study covered different kinds of domestic violence such as spousal abuse, sexual abuse, and early marriage of young girls and deprivation of women’s rights in decision-making on family relationship.

The reason for choosing married men and women is that, they are people that have gone through violent behaviour in the home. As such they are in a better position to say much about domestic violence. It was delimited to married men and women in four Local Government Areas in Taraba State.