By Quadri Adeniyi Olorunfunmi
Domestic violence, also called “domestic abuse” or “intimate partner violence”, can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It can occur within a range of relationships including couples who are married, living together or dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
The United Nations also defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
The ubiquity of domestic violence is arguably one of the top health concerns in the country. Understanding its definition given above can help you to take more effective action against its many exhibition of abuse. In some cases, abusers may not even realize that they’re foisting domestic violence on someone else. Drawback, victims may not take action against their abusers if they don’t realize that the behavior they’re experiencing is indeed domestic violence.
However, friends and loved ones of victims are in a better place to help if they understand what domestic violence looks like. That being the case, it’s important that people understand the meaning of domestic violence and the many forms it can take, which will lead this treaties to discuss the causes, how domestic violence can be prevented and/or eradicate domestic violence completely.
In research, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that violence against woman and girls globally is dramatically under reported. Recently, incidents of DV increased during the COVID-19 pandemic potentially due to the stay-at-home/lockdown orders and increased stress. In research by (WHO), Over a quarter of women aged(15-49 years) who have been in a relationship have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner at least once in their lifetime (since age 15). The prevalence estimates of lifetime intimate partner violence range from 20% in the Western Pacific, 22% in high-income countries and Europe and 25% in the WHO Regions of the Americas to 33% in the WHO African region, 31% in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region, and 33% in the WHO South-East Asia region. Globally as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners.
In addition to intimate partner violence, globally 6% of women report having been sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner, although data for non-partner sexual violence are more limited. Intimate partner and sexual violence are mostly perpetrated by men against women.
Moving on, dwelling on the causes of domestic violence; Mental problem, Poverty and unemployment, Education, Young parents, Relationship retention behavior, Historical factors, Cultural factors, Self-defense, Alcoholism, Suspicion infidelity are most common causes of domestic violence in a relationship. Anyone who has seen a family destroyed by domestic violence can wonder what would make a person act that way. Many perpetrators of domestic violence strike out without warning.
Think of Raymell M. Rice, who was a star in the National Football League. He was well-liked and a pillar of the community, when one night he got in a fight with his fiancée and knocked her out in an elevator. Since that time, he has, by all accounts, gone back to being a good person who helps other people avoid his mistakes. This type of unexpected behavior is relatively common. There are some warning signs of domestic abuse that everyone should be aware of, though. So, what are the main causes of domestic violence? What could be the reasons for domestic violence in an otherwise healthy marriage? Are the causes of domestic abuse valid?
Well, domestic violence is a systematic pattern in behavior to instill dominance, superiority, and surveillance in the relationship. The factors of domestic violence are unjustified unless done in self-defense.
Furthermore, can domestic violence be eradicated? (absolutely yes). If these followed actions or steps can be taken:
-Tell someone. If you are the victim or are witness to violence, tell someone. It can be anyone you trust, such as a friend, parent, teacher, coach, brother/sisters, or a neighbor.
-Take all violence and abuse seriously. Remember that many acts of violence and abuse are against the law.
-Take a stand. If you witness any form of violence or abuse, stand up, step in, or shout out that the offender is actually the uncool one, and the violence has to stop.
-Be an individual. Think for yourself. Don’t follow the crowd and don’t give into peer pressure. Don’t participate in any forms of violence or abuse just because your friends are.
-Take back the power. Offenders act violently or abusively to gain power. By not participating, you take the power away from the offender and pass it to the victim.
-Remember, putting others down doesn’t raise you up. There is never a good reason to be abusive or violent towards anyone.
-Wrong. 24/7. Violence and abuse of any type that happens at any time is wrong. Period.
-Be a friend. Help the person who is being abused by inviting them to participate in school activities. This will take away the feeling of being alone.
-Spread the word. Comfort the person who was hurt and make it known that what happened was not fair or deserved.
-Stay cool. Try not to respond to violence with anger. Anger can make things worse.
Finally, domestic violence can leads to many chaos like death, child abuse, divorce, mental illness and homelessness. These is to say that, domestic violence shouldn’t be promoted in any form or place, so as to promote peace in the family, society as well as across the country.
Quadri Adeniyi Olorunfunmi is of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo