Monday, 1 July 2013


The journey into DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE started about two weeks ago, where we discussed about what it was. We went on to enumerate and explain the forms of domestic violence and abuse which comprises of Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Emotional or Psychological abuse and Economic abuse. More of this can be seen here in Part 1.

In the second series, we discussed the causes of domestic violence and abuse. What is the rationale behind forcefully and deliberately hurting another person? Some reasons and counter reasons were given but I summarized it all into 4 via;

Ø  Observation
Ø  Culture, tradition and institution
Ø  Technological advancement and
Ø  No legal back up.

The fact that domestic violence is learnt by observation and through other areas means that the perpetrator’s behavior can be corrected and change effected and that is what we are embarking on now.

Corrective measures of domestic violence and abuse will be grouped into two: Moral and Legal measures.

Moral Corrective Measures of Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA)

1.       Family Values: Since the start up point for DVA is by observation via the families, it behooves on all and sundry to revert to the standards and values that promotes peace, love and unity within and without the family unit. Emphasis should be placed on self respect and tolerance for each of the family members and also others outside the family unit. Good upbringing and community peace living should be promoted.

2.       Encompassing Educational Structure: Encompassing is used here to comprise of the home, the school, the society and the religious system. When the parents do their bit, the school and society contributes and the religious sect solidifies what has been built, then we will have a complete person that doesn’t need to hurt another to feel good. A confident person is complete in all areas.

3.       Technological Censoring: It has been proven times without number that the advancement of technology have impacted negatively on our society especially with the internet, pornographic websites and videos, some violent computer games and cartoons. In as much as there are rights to do whatever you want to do, I think, because of the effect of DVA on our growing generation, some websites and video games and cartoons should be censored for viewership by children and teenagers.

Legal Corrective Measure of Domestic Violence and Abuse

Section 34(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that “(1) Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly - (a) no person shall be subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment;"

This was further emphasized by Section 252 of the Criminal Code Act which defines an assault as “ a person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without his consent, or with his consent, if the consent is obtained by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without his consent, in such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect his purpose, is said to assault that other person, and the act is called an assault”.

It is worthy of note that by virtue of Section 351 of the Criminal Code Act, any person who unlawfully assaults another is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable, if no greater punishment is provided, to imprisonment for one year.

But the catch in this is found in Section 295 of the Criminal Code Act that ALLOWS domestic violence as "A blow or other force, not in any case extending to a wound or grievous harm, may be justified for the purpose of correction".

This catch arose out of the mentality that one can give “a blow” or “other force” and it is justified for corrective purposes. Whereas the intent of this provision is towards children or ward under 16years, it has been bastardized by people that interpreted the law out of context.

Even the punishment meted out for assault which is imprisonment of 1 year is too mild considering the gravity of the offence.

This section has to be revisited and appropriate interpretation given to it so that no one will be able to hide under it to perpetrate evil in the guise of corrective purpose and for those found wanting severe punishment should be meted out to them.

Conclusively,DVA does no good to any individual or society. Lets all say NO to every form of Domestic Violence and Abuse.

I’m on twitter as @Topsyken


  1. Our religious and cultural issues means issues of abuse in marriages will continue to happen and mostly stay hidden