Public perception on the domestic violence in Nigeria


public perception on the domestic violence in Life Camp, Gwarinpa Abuja
This paper investigates the impacts public perception on the domestic violence in Life Camp, Gwarinpa Abuja. The study adopts the descriptive survey research design. The population of the study comprises of all men and women in Life Camp, Gwarinpa Abuja, Nigeria. Using simple random sampling technique, a sample of one hundred and seventy five participants was selected. The data collected was analyzed using the Cronbach alpha formulae for internal consistency reliability, coefficients of 0.85. The descriptive statistics; the mean and standard deviation were employed. Results showed public perception of domestic violence against women in Life Camp, Gwarinpa Abuja with the test value of 2.88. Domestic violence influences separation/divorce with a test value of 2.65. The psychological effects on women account for a test value of 2.78 and the physical health issues account for a test value of 2.99. Recommendations were made based on the findings that: Constant awareness-raising as a significant approach in responding to the issues of domestic violence against women should be encouraged by helping professionals. Assistance provision for victims, interventions measures with abusers and the proper interpretation of policies in response to the phenomenon.



Background to the Study

Conflict is an inevitable phenomenon in human social life, this is because as long as people live together disagreement must arise, and this disagreement has been a major contributor to the rising incidence of domestic violence. Domestic violence is an aspect of conflict in human relations, since it reflects to a large extent disposition and temperament (Jewkes, Flood & Lang, 2015). People have seen conflict as a bad omen in the society because of the value attached to it, in the real sense, conflict as a concept and as a human phenomenon is natural (Dokpesi, Ibiezugbe & Obaro, 2003). Human reactions either encourage violence or discourages it, and humans possess a complex and unique biological make-up which makes them very rational, self- calculative and defensive (Fawole, 2003; Lila, Gracia & Garcia, 2013. With the infra-humans, man has the tendency to show some elements of self-centeredness, greed, jealousy, wickedness and hatred towards his fellow humans. Violence in its entirety has become a global phenomenon which has eaten deep into the marrow of the family and society as a whole, to the extent that it is sometimes not seen as a societal ill, but rather accepted as a normal occurrence (Osaghae & Iborbor, 2003). Hence domestic violence against women as prevalent all over the world represents violation of women’s rights and a major public concern (Arinze-Umobi, 2008).
Violence affects millions of women worldwide and it cuts across all geographical, regional, national, religious and socio-economic barriers, impeding the woman’s right to participate fully in the society. The World Health Organization (2007) revealed that between 15% and 71% of women and children in its 10-country study, which include nations as Japan, Ethiopia, Serbia, Montenegro and Brazil had experienced domestic violence. Moreover the widespread prevalence of domestic violence is not limited to a particular country or region; it is a global phenomenon. The survey conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2014) estimated that an average of 22% of European women have been victims of physical and/or sexual violence and 33% of women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence across countries, since the age of 15. It is also instructive to note that though it is a global phenomenon, studies have shown that its prevalence in Sub-Sahara Africa ranks high even in comparison with levels in other developing regions (United Nations International Children Emergency Fund, 2006). Research on the demographic and health survey in Nigeria indicates that 28 per cent of all women in Nigeria have experienced physical violence (Oyediran & Isiugo- Abanihe, 2005).
According to the WHO (2015), domestic violence against women is violence; behavior, within an intimate relationship that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours. Jewkes (2002) substantiates that domestic violence is the inflicting of
physical injury, sexual, psychological or economic violence by a family member or intimate partner, irrespective of whether they lived together or not. To Okolo (2004), violence could be everywhere in the world today and violence against women is different from context, even though there have been great change overtime. Domestic violence can happen to anyone irrespective of the age, race orientation or gender (Onobumeh, Oronsaye & Oshodin, 2015), take a number of forms, including physical, emotional, economic, sexual, financial, neglect, which can range from subtle, coercive forms in self –defense or retaliation to marital rape and to physical violent abuse such as acid throwing that result in disfigurement or death (McQuigg, 2011).
Violence against women is a complex phenomenon that needs to be understood within the wider social context and within the social and cultural norms that permeate it (Jewkes, 2002; Flood & Pease, 2009). A growing number of researches have acknowledged the perceived role of the public about domestic violence and the responses towards tackling the phenomenon (Oyediran & Isiugo-Abanihe, 2005; Frye, 2007; Gracia, Garcia, & Lila 2009; Gracia, 2014). Research shows that these attitudes condoning violence against women are still widespread (Frye, 2007; WHO, 2015). The importance of addressing public attitudes towards violence against women is illustrated by an increasing body of research showing the influence that these attitudes may have in aspects such as incidence and reporting rates, public and professional responses and the victims’ own responses (Fawole, 2003; Flood & Pease, 2009; Aihie, 2009; Lila, Gracia, & Garcia, 2013). Given that domestic violence remains not only a social or public health problem, but a largely unreported misconduct (Gracia, 2014); the importance of addressing insolences towards domestic violence against women becomes even more visible. Hence, an in-depth of the public perception regarding violence against women could help gain knowledge of the contexts that contribute to its occurrence and the measures of intervention.
Domestic violence is not an isolated occurrence in families, but is broadly relevant to notions of risky family environment that may relate to children’s adjustment problem or negative pathways in children’s development. Domestic violence has significant effects not only on adult but also on children through direct exposure to it, changes in parenting, family relationship and multiple family problems such as parental depression & alcohol problems (Davies & Cummings, 2006; Aihie, 2009). Studies suggest that violent behavior often is caused by an interaction of situational and individual factors, which implies that abusers learn violent behavior from their family, people in their community and other cultural influences as they grow up, because they may have seen violence often or they may have been victims themselves (Obi & Ozumba, 2007; Gracia, 2014; Onobumeh et al., 2015;). No cause of domestic violence, however, justifies the actions  of the abuser, nor should it be used as a rationale for their behavior (Goldsmith, 2016). Whilst in response to domestic violence against women, this study intends to find out the public perception of the social and cultural influences that tolerate or justify the phenomenon.

1.2.    Statement of Problem

Domestic violence is a global issue reaching across national boundaries as well as socio-economic, cultural, racial, and class dictions. This problem is not only widely dispersed geographically, but its incidence is also extensive, making it a typical and accepted behavior. Its continued existence is morally indefensible to its cost to individuals, law enforcement, to health system and to society, is enormous (Arinze-Umobi, 2008). Yet no other major problem of public health has been so widely ignored and so little understood (WHO, 2007). It has serious consequences on victims’ physical health, including the women’s reproductive and sexual health (Alokan, 2013; Onobumeh et al., 2015). These include injuries, other health problems, temporary or permanent disabilities, depression and suicide amongst others.

1.3.    Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to find out the public perception on the effects of domestic violence  in the lifecam  city of gwarinpa, Abuja The specific objectives are:

  1. To examine public perception on domestic violence against women
  2. To determine whether divorce is an effect of domestic violence
  3. To determine whether depression is an effect of domestic violencen
  4. To determine whether domestic violence affects the health of women.
  5. To suggest possible solutions to the issue of domestic violence

1.4.    Research Questions


  1. What is the public perception about domestic violence against women in life cam, Gwarinpa Abuja?
  2. Does domestic violence against women influences separation/divorce?
  3. Does domestic violence influences psychological problems on women?

4.         Does domestic violence influences women’s physical health issues?


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