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Dealing With Domestic Abuse

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We are tired of cases of people maiming, beating and subjecting to hunger, or all manner of hardship, people they are obligated to love and protect. Some cases appear so bizarre that one is forced to ask if the perpetrators were actually in the right frame of mind at the time of the act.
When people talk about domestic abuse,they often focus on domestic violence. Domestic abuse has to do with any attempt by one party in an intimate relationship, or marriage, to dominate and control the other. According to Dr Humphrey Amadi of ‘ Help Guide To Mental Health And Welness’, whether abuse or violence, the purpose is basically to gain and maintain total control over the other.
An abuser uses fear, guilt and intimidation to wear down a victim and keep same under control. While abuse remains no person’s portion, it occurs across all ages, ethnic backgrounds and all social levels as well as all sexes, especially verbal or emotional.
From threat and verbal assault, an abuse could escalate to violence. Physical injury poses the most obvious danger, this is worsened by the emotional and accompanying psychological consequences.
Abusive relationships do not only lead to anxiety and depression, it also destroys self worth, leaving victims lonely and helpless. Prof. Nkem Agbaso of the Department of Guidance and Counseling, University of Uyo, once declared that ‘ no one wishes to endure such kind of pain’.
For Dr. Nikki Williams, a psychologist, when a partner becomes unussually fearful of the other, to the point of feeling like walking on egg shell around him, constantly watching what to say or do in order to avoid being attacked, it is indicative of a relationship prone to abuse.
Dr Williams enjoins couples to look out for occasions when a party in a relationship begins to despise the dignity of a mate, to the point of exerting supremacy, and a feeling of self loathing, helplessness and desperation. It could also take the form of being afraid of one’s partner, avoiding certain topics for fears of annoying a partner. She warned.
According to the psychologist, being a victim or merely witnessing a scene of domestic abuse in childhood, can turn one aggressive in life. Such behavior could as well be learned while growing up in a family with abusive parents or relatives.
It is important to note that stress and aggression occasioned by economic problems, often lead to domestic violence. A high level of unemployment contributes to the point that people quarrel in families due to lack of basic needs.
Again, alcohol and narcotics have also been fingered as factors triggering domestic abuse. Most people who are addicted to the above hardly control their abusive instinct. Unfortunately, alcohol and other related drugs are wide spreading in Nigeria, a reason why domestic abuse and violence have become common.
Even where alcohol and other drugs are in short supply, some pockets of psychological disorder as a result of long period depression, could still produce violence. This is why it is important that people care about what family members or partners in relationship go through.
Excessive suspicion, distrust and jealousy cannot be exonerated from the catalysts of domestic abuse. Most break-ups in relationship today, are courtesy of it. Above all Dr. Williams warned that whoever wishes for a lasting happy relationship, must in addition to being wary of all so- outlined, guide against anger.
Dr. Angella Amadi, a psychologist, identified physical violence amongst couples in Nigeria as most worrisome. It includes beating, slapping, rape, murder, kicking, rejecting to eat, not willing to shoulder responsibilities, and denying partners sex at will. She also identified acid baths as a form of violence which has received a lot of attention in Nigeria. Sexual violence in Nigeria largely goes unreported because of the burden of proof necessary for conviction as well as social stigma it brings. The common loss of Women’s rights upon marriage in sub-Sahara Africa and the implicit obedience and deference towards men is socially encouraged in the society.
Dr. Angella stated that infertility is a serious problem as over 40 percent of women who visited her for counseling often complain bitterly about their husbands unruly behavior in relation to infertility. The perceptions of domestic violence varies based on religion, and class. The Tivs see wife battery as a sign of love “ that should be encouraged. She said: “if you are not yet beaten by your husband, then you do know the joy of marriage, meaning you are not yet married.” All the major ethnic groups in Nigeria have a strong patriarchal societal structures that lead to justification of domestic violence as inherent right of a husband. In her study in the nation’s capital Abuja, she explained that while domestic violence is a violation of fundamental human rights which the Nigerian constitution is against, there are still provisions that tend to legalise it. The provision of the Penal code application in the Northern part of Nigeria specifically encourages violence against women. Underneath its provisions, the beating of a wife for the purpose of correction is legal by the use of (section 55 (1) (d) of the penal code.
Dr. Martins Oyeyidah, a medical consultant proffers solutions to reduce domestic abuse and violence in Nigeria. “The first step to action is to familiarize individuals and the community with the possible signs and indicators of domestic violence.” These signs can vary and do always come with physical symptoms because domestic violence is not just limited to physical attacks such as beatings. Domestic abuse also affects every level and demography in society. So there is no typical victim despite the stereotypes. Someone who may not appear to be a victim of domestic violence may well be suffering in silence.
Nigerian women should rise to the occasion and support the home by engaging in activities that will bring productivity in the home. More than one-third of women and one in 10 men have experienced intimate partner violence in their life time, according to the National intimate partner and sexual violence survey.
Sometimes violence begins early in a relationship and other times it takes months or years to appear. It could be the jealous type, being jealous of your friends or time you spent outside.
“The lack of discussions of domestic issues creates a space in which an ostensibly socially unacceptable behaviour becomes allowable and even common place. Because conversations about domestic violence are off limit. Many women do not share abuse incidents with anyone. The taboo surrendering domestic violence discussion and accurate data reporting. It will be necessary to remove the stigma around domestic violence”, Dr Martins maintained.
He further suggested that this can be achieved through the creation of government -sponsored community programmes that directly address physical and psychological violence.
Mr. Frank Domino, a psychologist at a health Centre in Rumuigbo, Port Harcourt, observed social structure as the disparate status between men and women, as men have higher status in Nigeria than women. He stated that women should break out of traditionally engrained gender roles and expectations. With an increased sense of status, Nigerian women will no longer be bound to expected roles acquiescence. Given a voice, women will be able to challenge the established differences in status between men and women.
Igbe is a Freelancer in Port Harcourt.

 

Emeka Igbe

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Women

Women Can Build Formidable Marital Homes

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Building formidable marital homes starts before marriage. Single women also need to pick the right kind of person they think can build a formidable home with them.
When you marry the wrong person, the home will be a terrible place. Remember the person you will marry will leave with you forever as marriage is a life long affair.
To build a formidable marriage, you must consider who you marry. Ensure the person you pick mWomen can build formidable marital home with you.
The person you pick matters a lot. The quality of person determines the quality of marriage.
Marriage does not change people so it is important you understand who you marry early enough.
Marriage reveals who people are. A lot of people hide their characters and habit before marriage and showcase them when marriage is mature.
When you talk of marriage, you are talking about the future of your life, future of the children and all that concerns them. The way you manage your partner will encourage of discourage him or her.
A wife may have interest in doing a paid employed job, but the spouse may not allow her to do that. There are kinds of businesses that some women may want to engage in but their spouses will shut them down.
For Christians, it is expected that not much should be done about women in every circumstances since they can should build formidable marital homes.
It is assumed that as believers, they will understand each other. But two believers may have different doctrinal believes. Both may be Christians, your ideas may differ. Partners who are believers may not think the same way when it comes to giving in the things of God.
Most problems for couples is assumption. Two people must work together when they agree. A partner may like every contribution in church and giving to the need while his wife may be considering their level of income.
Marriage should be an intentional thing and nobody should be coerced into it. There should be no compromise. The idea of marrying because others are should not be the case.
Good marriages don’t make the news but bad ones do. It may interest you to know some women chase their husbands away from home. No matter the level of anger in a woman, it shouldn’t be that a woman uses harmful object on her husband.
When venturing into marriage, the issue of age should not discourage you. Yes, it is necessary but that can be your own time to get married. A situation where you lament that others are all married and rush into marriage, may be disastrous.
You must be prepared before going into marriage.
Marriage is not an employment where you can resign at a time you like. Even in employment, you give some notice for resignation. It is not easy to quit marriage. Consultation must be done from experts and stakeholders in marriage, that is why you don’t rush into marriage.
Before going into marriage, you must ask questions to know who you want to marry.
Remember, better woman will make better society.
When a husband and wife have disagreement in the home and the matter is reported to the elders in the local palace, the woman is always blamed and sometimes mandated to apologise to the husband.
That may appear humiliating. Some persons say it is wrong to judge the woman in the presence of the husband.
What about a situation where the man is at fault? The truth is not always said in the public or before the man and his wife.
Some people argue that it is a way of protecting the marriage and the man cn be cautioned behind the wife by his kinsmen.
Women should bear in mind that the elders in the family do not hate them by supporting the and asking the wife to appologise when disappointment occurs in the home.
Protection of the home as far as husband and wife are concerned is very important. There is the belief by men that if the man is blamed before the wife, that will warrant her to raise shoulders.
Elders also say that will prevent the woman from reporting every little issue that comes up in the home.
Women should not think that they are being cheated and should continue to be better builders of the home and society.
Acknowledging faults in issues relating to your marriage does not mean weakness but a sign that peace reigns in the home.
Remember, “home is a person”.

Eunice Choko-Kayode

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Women

What Women Should Know In Marriage

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Every married person should be able to quit childish ways for a long lasting marriage.
Growing up in marriage means keeping the vows made during holy matrimony, obeying the rules guiding marriage. Love your spouse and treat him/her kindly. Growing up is being able to hold intelligent discussions with your partner.
Do not allow problems to make you expose your spouse in the public.
When married, you kick out childish behaviours. These days, you see a lot of people unable to manage their emotions well.
Do not take up relationship when you still think like a child. If you are not ready to take up responsibility, do not go into marriage. You may be having money or being financially buoyant, but maturity matters a lot. How you respond to issues matters a lot in your marriage. When arguments come up, it should not lead to a point where couples start destroying valuable items in the home.
Do not get angry all the time. Anger causes destruction in a home that might have been built for several years. Do not be like kids, who want to throw away toys when they get angry.
In marriage, the woman is responsible to the husband and the man should be accountable to the wife. Marriage requires new skills in communication if it will work well.
The woman needs to grow up to be able to manage the home. Managing the home is not a child’s play.
You have to build a home that will suit your taste. Sweet homes were built by people. When your spouse gets angry, you put yourself into his or her shoes. Showing empathy to each other will help to run the family smoothly.
Appreciating the woman who does all the house work alone is good. From childbearing through nurturing them till they become adults rest squarely on the woman.
Building formidable marriage is not just for two people but for everybody around them. The woman should care for her in-laws and others in her care. Treating other children like her biological children.
In marriage, treat your spouse better than you handle your phones. Priority should be given to your spouse instead of phones. Some women can get glued to their phones for a longer period instead of attending to their husbands. Activities in your phones should not take all your time as your spouse is more important than them.
Some men often complain about their wives’ addiction to their phones.
There was the issue of a woman that was accused by her husband about getting glued to her phone always and the reason she gave was that her husband was not coming home when he should come. She said as a result of that, she needed something to keep her busy.
Avoid the habit of sleeping with your phones. It is disrespectful when a spouse is talking to a partner and she is attending to a phone or internet. This is a habit women should work on as it is in many homes. Experts say that it leads to emotional gaps.
In marriage, communication is key. Communication must be a two- way thing. When a partner is talking, the other must respond and not just nodding his or her head.
Couples need to be together for bonding. Relationship with children is temporary while that with spouse is more permanent. When children grow up and get married, they will leave the home while husband and wife will live on forever. You see where husband and wife will be living in a big house.
A spouse should be able to accommodate eath other’s weakness.
Do you know that home is a person. Life can give you everything you desire but can be disastrous if there is no love.
Do not allow fear to rule you while trying to show love in building your home. A situation where you think that after building a home and it tears apart in future. This should be discouraged.
When you grow up in marriage, you build formidable marriage.

Eunice Choko-Kayode

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Women

Women Can Eradicate Child Abuse In Homes

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It is disheartening to note how in the 21st century, some women abuse the rights of both their children and wards. No day passes without getting information on how a child was beaten with an object or harmful substance used on a child for little errors that should not lead to provocation.
The role of women in
curbing child abuse can never be over-emphasised.  Mothers are the ones who nurture and groom their offsprings and wards whether, biological children or adopted.
It is necessary that any child who falls under the supervision of a mother, be responsible to that woman.
Shaping the life of a child depends so much on the mother, even if certain percentage of care is being expected from a father.  The mother starts nurturing a child from age zero till the adolescent stage.  She should always do a follow-up at every stage of development of every child in her care.
Within the period of growth, if there are negative tendencies exhibited by the child, the mother should be able to identify before the child goes to school. This is because the child starts learning from the home.
When you talk about child abuse, it starts from the home and the way every child is treated matters a lot.
The menace called child abuse is something that every hands must be on deck to ensure it is eradicated in the society. The major agent of eradication is the mother.
There are various forms of child abuse.  You may discover that for every form of the menace, the woman is involved and should be held responsible for its consequences.
Of course, it is clear that child abuse does not have any positive impact on the society except the perpetrators of the act.  Some persons derive joy in seeing either their own children or other’s children being denied their rights to accomplish their own goals.
According to UNICEF in 1989, child abuse is the portion of harm to children that results from human action or inaction  that is proscribed, proximate and preventable.
The African Network for the Prevention or Protection against Child Abuse or Neglect (ANPPCAN), looked at child abuse as the intentional, unintentional or well-intentional act, which endangers the physical, health, emotional, moral and the educational welfare of the child.
Broadly, it means maltreatment of a child. It is any form of action that brings about physical, mental, psychological and social torture to the child.
When you talk about child labour, which includes buying and selling, most times, a woman will intentionally send the child out for hawking with the aim of making money. A situation where a woman’s children will be in school and she finds pleasure in sending a house help out potends danger to that child.
Just recently, when pimary and secondary schools resumed for third term, a woman told her househelp to resume school one week after resumption, thereby dening her classes for the first week of resumption.
A woman should not send an adopted child out to the neighbourhood alone to fetch water when her own children are idle because her role is to protect every child in her care, whether biological or not.
When you talk about child trafficking, apart from children being in school, the mother should be aware of the location of the child at every time. Monitoring the children should be the watchword of every committed mother. When a woman is careless about the whereabouts of the child, that child can be picked up from any location without her knowledge.
A woman should not express anger on everything the child does at home.   A child/ward can be corrected for wrong doing without being battered.  It has been discovered in some homes that child battering has led to death or deformity of some children. A mother should know the kind of punishment a child deserves for correction.
An undergraduate teenage student who was housed by another woman because the student was unable to secure accommodation in the university had it rough with the woman that it got to a point where she slapped the girl during examination period. She never considered that maltreating her could affect her performance in the semester academic work.
No matter the level of provocation, you don’t slap a student who is writing examination.
Some women neglect their children by sending them to others for inability to provide basic needs in the home.  Every responsible woman should be able to have the number of children she can cater for.  While the child is in another woman’s house, no one knows how many meals he or she takes in a day.
Sending a child out for hawking, especially a female, signals danger to the girl.  That is a simple way of exposing her to sexual abuse.  Some irresponsible persons with the pretence of buying something from her can lure her into undesirable sexual abuse.  The danger in this is that it can lead to unwanted pregnancy and contracting of STDs and HIV/AIDS.
Most rape cases that have been recorded are as a result of sending a girl out to hawk.
There is no harm in asking children to assist in selling so as to make up in the home, but if they are to sell in a kiosk no matter how little it may be, a mother can monitor the children there.
A mother should know that giving a child under the age of 18 out for marriage is an abuse. Women must nurture the children to maturity before sending them out in marriage because the dangers of underage marriage are devastating. When an underaged girl is given out for any reason for marriage, it must be remembered that any consequences that arise from that will fall back on the mother.
A mother should not send her child or ward out for prostitution in order to make money.
Parents and guardians, especially mothers should be more educated and more awareness acquired on why they should pay more attention to their children and wards.

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