The metro sections of most national newspapers and the social media are replete with different sad stories of domestic violence. It is either a husband has killed his wife or a wife has cut off her husband’s private part with a kitchen knife. On the 31st of December 2017, the Punch Newspaper reported that Lagos State alone recorded 852 cases of domestic violence between January and September of that year. Most of these cases resulted in the death of either of the spouses involved.
In November of that same year, the son of Haliru Bello, a former Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was stabbed to death by his wife, Maryam.
On the 15th of April 2018, a Nigerian singer, Zainab Nielsen (Alizee) and her daughter Petra were found dead at their residence in Ikoyi. The news had it that they were murdered by the singer’s Danish husband.
On the 3rd of May 2018 it was reported that a female lawyer Mrs Udeme Odibi stabbed her husband to death at their Diamond Estate residence in Lekki, Lagos.
The news and the horrible video of a young man in the Mushin area of Lagos who was caught with a decomposing corpse of his wife stuffed in a bucket is still fresh in the minds of many.
On the 1st of June 2018, Mr. Akinbobola Dare was stabbed to death by his wife in the Igbogbo area of Ikorodu, Lagos.
Information emerged on the social media on Sunday, 17th June reporting that a man (Samuel Mgbeodinma) killed his pregnant wife after four months of marriage and drove the corpse to her family house. The couple lived in Ikotun area of Lagos while the victim’s parents live in Egbeda.
These are just but a few of the many reported and unreported cases of domestic violence amongst couples.
Besides couples killing each other, there are other several cases involving other members of the same family. A man recently stabbed his daughter to death somewhere in Anambra State. Today, news broke of a young man who killed his mother after impregnating his cousin. Has the devil unleashed mayhem on families?
What is responsible for the rising cases of domestic violence? While we blame the devil for all of these, let us look at some possible situations that give rise to domestic violence.
- Anger: A friend once told me that anger is a twin brother of madness. Whoever cannot manage his anger is as good as an insane person. There is so much anger in the land and the level of anger management is abysmally low. The commonest way of dealing with anger in Nigeria now is to vent it on any nearby person (most cases, a family member). If you consider Anger Management a serious business, you can deal with this. Read books and see specialists.
- Alcohol/Drug Abuse: For whatever reason, the consumption of alcohol and abuse of substances are on the increase. Whoever cannot regulate his intake of alcohol and say no to abuse of substances is a potential danger in a family. Some of the cases mentioned above were aided by the influence of alcohol and drugs.
- Lack of Tolerance: Many couples these days do not have room for tolerance. Each would want to exert revenge on the other. This is an indication of the absence of love, trust and care. If you cannot forgive and forget an incident, you’re most likely going to bottle up so many things and eventually explode someday and possibly kill someone. To tolerate does not mean to expose yourself to danger. You must be sure that the situation is worthy of tolerance.
- Ignorance: Many people believe that marriage is strictly a two- individual affair and as such, they become too secretive that they don’t even ask for help when the need arises. This is ignorance! Even managing your own life is not strictly your business let alone managing a marriage. Do not get it twisted; it is your responsibility to manage your life and your marriage but you need the support, experiences, ideas etcetera of others to enrich yourself in wisdom and knowledge. You can get these through reading of relevant books and articles, listening to messages and visiting marriage counselors. Don’t believe that marriage is just a man and a woman sleeping in the same room every night.
- Societal Pressure: Many young men and women today have gone into wrong marriages and suffer domestic violence because they succumbed to pressure to get married. In a society where it is believed that an unmarried man or woman is a failure, some end up getting married to beasts that would eventually cut their lives short. Marriage is not on the list of prerequisites for greatness. Many successful individuals in the world today were never married. Finding a life partner is not just about seeing a man or a woman; it’s like finding a treasure that means so much to you and you’d like to keep such a treasure for ever. Marriage is not even about children; therefore, the existence and survival of any marriage is not meant to be dependent on how many children it’s able or not able to produce. Many couples remain together even when death stares them in the face as a result of domestic violence. They are afraid of what the society would say; they are afraid of what would happen to the children. You can only be alive to be part of a society or to take care of those children. Even if you kill him/her in self-defense, it can only exonerate you for murder but not manslaughter. You’ll still go to jail. You don’t have to die or kill someone in that marriage; get out of it now!
- Family Background: A family known for domestic violence would eventually produce another set of domestic violence practitioners. So, it is more dangerous to bring up your children in a violent home because when a child sees violence, he learns abuse or lives in fear.
Most of the issues mentioned above can be dealt with. Do not wait until it gets worse or someone dies. Say NO to Domestic Violence. Stop blaming the devil. Take responsibility.