1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Domestic violence, also known as domestic assault or family violence, is any kind of violence or other abuse that occurs in a domestic environment, such as a marriage or cohabitation. Domestic violence is often used interchangeably with intimate partner violence, which occurs when one of the parties in a romantic partnership acts violently against the other. It may occur in heterosexual or same-sex marriages, as well as between former spouses or friends. Domestic abuse may include aggression against girls, adolescents, parents, or the elderly in its broadest context.
Physical, verbal, mental, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual violence can take many forms, ranging from indirect, manipulative forms such as denial of sex by one's partner, food deprivation, marital rape, and aggressive physical abuse such as choking, kicking, female genital mutilation, and acid throwing, which can result in disfigurement or death. Domestic violence sometimes happens because the attacker feels that the harassment is a right, that it is permissible, that it is deserved, or that it will not be reported.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is described by the United Nations General Assembly as "any act of violence that causes physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including wife battering, rape, commercial sexual exploitation, workplace intimidation, social exclusion, domestic abuse and violence, female genital mutilation, or anything else done by men to establish dominance over women." Domestic abuse affects people of all ages, not just women and teenagers. Domestic abuse affects both men and women.
While domestic abuse is often associated with women, it is necessary to remember that men may be victims of domestic abuse as well. However, men's experiences are expected to vary substantially from women's. According to available data, women are more likely than men to witness sexual violence in their lifetime and to be victimized repeatedly. They are more likely to be injured or require medical attention.There is no doubt that domestic violence against women is a significant and growing issue in Nigeria, but the problem of domestic violence against men is also growing (Bensley G. 2016).
Many people in Africa claim that men are not subject to domestic abuse because of their place of dominance and privilege over women. Battling of men by their wives and family members has become a public health problem and is another form of domestic abuse that falls within the jurisdiction of the courts (Bensley, 2016). Males have registered incidents of attack against them in many industrialized and developing countries, including pulling, shoving, kicking, dragging, and punching, both of which are meant to hurt them and, in some cases, take their lives.
Domestic violence towards men has been blamed on a variety of factors, including men's inability to follow their wives' instructions, their inability to earn enough money, their infidelity against their wives, their failure to assist their partners in household activities, their failure to take proper care of their children, their abuse towards their spouse's family, their infertility, their spying on their partners' activities, their constant doubting and distrust towards their partners, and their wives' revolt. Many times, the conflict between men and women becomes public, affecting the community around them, especially in villages. Because of the increased anonymity of urban environments, certain types of aggression can go unreported. In addition, in metropolitan environments, families' reputations are at risk. However, it is with this in mind that this study will conduct a critical assessment of domestic violence against men in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Domestic violence against men is not easily recognized because the image that is often in our minds is that of a battered woman or wife. Seldom do we think about a battered man or husband. To some people, the concept of domestic violence against men is so unthinkable that men often end up choosing to stay quiet if they become victims of domestic violence.Physical abuse of women is more readily observable than physical abuse against men and even if men report that they were victims of domestic violence, people often find it hard to believe that the man’s black eye or bruise on the face was caused by domestic violence (more likely, they will think that the bruises were the results of fights against other men). As a result, the man will think that nobody will actually believe him and, thus, will just prefer to keep his silence.
Many men who experience domestic abuse from a current or former partner find it difficult to get support; not least because it can be hard for men to acknowledge and discuss their experiences. This can be due to any number of reasons, including love for a partner, embarrassment or shame and concern for any children, or simply not knowing where to go. Men may also attempt different techniques to cope. Coping strategies include adopting an ‘I can handle this' attitude and/or adapting their behavior to appease the abuser. Coping strategies like this may make life temporarily safer and easier, but they are unlikely to stop the abuse. As a result, this study will conduct a critical evaluation of domestic violence against men in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The focus of this study is to do critical Evaluation of Domestic Violence Against Men in Nigeria. Specifically the study is to:
1. Examine if men are really abused by their partners or spouses.
2. Investigate the extent to which men are abused in marriage and relationships.
3. Examine why men do not report when they get abused.
4. Investigate whether abused men receive support and justice for their abuse.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research question guides the study
1. Are men really abused by their partners or spouses in Nigeria?
2. What are the forms in which men are abused?
3. To what extent are men abused in their marriage and relationships?
4. Why do men not report abuse cases on them?
5. Do abused men ever get support and justice?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be significant to the general public, especially men. It will enlighten men on the importance of speaking up without shame when they are abused. This study will heighten the awareness of the judiciary and legislature of the need to enact laws against domestic violence against men as they too are humans even though the attention has been directed towards only women and children. This study will enable Human Right Activists to know that a lot of men go through abuse, but because society does not believe them, they die in silence. Thus, there is a need for massive agitation for support and justice for men going through abuse. Finally, this study will contribute to the general body of knowledge, serving as a reference material and giving room for further research on this field.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study focuses on a critical evaluation of domestic violence against men in Nigeria. However, the study is delimited to men ranging from those who are single to those in relationships, to the married, separated, divorced and widowers. The study is delimited to men in PortHarcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
During the course of the study, challenges encountered were exclusively but not delimited to the following. These are
Inadequate funding: The research was hampered by a lack of funds, which prevented the researcher from closing to Access Banks in Lagos, particularly in the printing and collation of questionnaires.
Time constraint: Another constraint is the fact that this research had to be completed concurrently with other academic work, making it impossible to conduct this study in large more representative skill.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Domestic: domestic means relating to the home, intimate, the household, household affairs, or the family
Violence: Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also used, such as the World Health Organization's definition of violence as "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development, or deprivation.
Abuse:Abuse is the improper usage or treatment of a thing, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical, verbal, sexual, psychological maltreatment of a person by another.
Man/men: an adult male human being as opposed to a woman
Domestic Violence: Domestic violence (also named domestic abuse or family violence) is violence or other abuse in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. Domestic violence is often used as a synonym for intimate partner violence, which is committed by one of the people in an intimate relationship against the other person.
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