I’m very passionate about domestic violence awareness and prevention.
As per my morning routine, I went on Youtube to see what my channels have for the day. I noticed this Bata Box video where women were asked what they’ll do should their partners hit them.
Bata Box, though somewhat a comedy channel, takes jabs at serious issues going on in Nigeria. For the most part, they do a great job and for other times, the interviewers ask the most embarrassing questions and are often not objective. I like them nonetheless, they help create a picture or give access into the mind of the average Nigerian (on the streets of Lagos)
Back to Domestic Violence.
My heart broke listening to the responses from most of the women. More than half of them think it’s okay or acceptable for a man to hit them once. Some even go as far as saying they will remain in the relationship even if the beating continues.
Their responses are very alarming and scary.
Woman, who taught you to accept a man treating you less than a queen? Woman, who taught you to settle as a man’s punching bag?
Several studies have shown that a high number of Nigerian women admitted to have been hit or are being beaten by their significant other. Even worse, is the fact that a lot of them have justified the abuse with excuses including withholding sexual intercourse, being “rude” or being a nag, burning of food and even leaving the home without permission.
Woman, who taught you to devalue yourself for a man’s ego? Woman, you’re an important part of creation, never settle for a man whose ego is fed by the punches he places on you.
One of the ladies interviewed in this Youtube video claimed she will remain in the relationship because “there is no man out there?”
Lady. just because he has abused/abuses you emotionally, verbally, physically and causing you to think you’re less human than him doesn’t mean it is true or he is right. There are many men out there who will give their last to treat you right.
I thought the interviewer’s comments at the end subtly justified the answers the women gave. in my own words, i think her closing statement was saying “divorce in Nigeria is a no go area, so when you’re married, you stay there whether he hits you or not.”
(I must admit, I tend to be very judgmental of this very interviewer each time. I can’t help but think she doesn’t know better herself. I learned not to take her seriously after she was involved in a ‘talk show,’ and claimed a woman’s life is never complete until she has a man in her life.)
Why do we condone this social ill?
Domestic violence cuts across social class/educational qualifications, religions and all the other divisions we impose on ourselves.
Woman, there’s no shame in seeking help. Woman, you’re worth more than that insecure man. Woman, you’re worth more than a man who makes you believe you deserve being hit based on something you did or didn’t do. Woman, you deserve a man who understands himself enough to manage his anger without laying a finger or raising his voice at you.
Help is another issue.
in an ideal world, people who are abused- men and women alike- should seek counseling/help. However, in Nigeria, we know that most of the people who should be our refuge or voice of reason often times don’t give us the sound advice we need.
You have places of worship/ religious figures who are so against divorce and great supporters of the institution of marriage, that they don’t encourage the abused to leave that relationship. The moment you begin to hit your partner, you’ve broken your vows. The moment you begin to break them down emotionally and be verbally abusive towards them, you’re tossing that love you swore by out the window.
I’ve also heard of many incidences where the police was called and they refused to take any action against the abusers, claiming it’s not a criminal matter.
We have a society that treats domestic violence as a secret issue/ a family matter and something that must never be heard in public. No, it is a crime. It should be treated as a crime. Many women/men have been killed by their abusive partners. Many abusers too have lost their lives after their victims decided enough was enough, thereby killing their perpetrators.
My heart really goes out to those women. I really wish we can have a Nigeria where we see Domestic Violence as the evil it is to our society. Until then, we will continue to raise boys who believe hitting women is okay and girls who believe they deserve it each time they are abused by their partners.
I’ll need to look around and see if there are any official statistics on Domestic Violence in Nigeria. There’s a lot out there that seem helpful, but nothing official from the government. However, since I’m running on time and all, here’s one that can help paint a picture of how terrible the situation is. There are many others of course. And if you know of any official sources, please share them with me.
I know I’m all over the place with this post, but It’s Wednesday/production day and I have stories and edits to get out of the way. I couldn’t let this pass without saying a word about .
There’s no man out there bold enough to hit me and get away with it. I once dated a guy who used an expletive word at me. That was the end. You’ll never have the chance to break me down emotionally/verbally and not to talk of physically.