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Domestic violence and its social negativism

Chucks Osuji

Today in our country, no day passes without reports of incidents of domestic violence. Not only that such report are numerous, but they’re assuming unbelievable dimensions. Many of them are very frightening and heart breaking.

It covers all manner and different types of violence mostly domestic ones indeed. They are mostly violence against housewives but some of them are against housemaids or domestic servant or other forms of house-helpers.

Given the socio, cultural and economic setting of our society, with different types of tribal and ethnic configurations, different behaviours occur with diverse grouping consistent with each group’s culture and tradition.

For example, it is a common practice in many cultures to engage the services of some house-helps to do some domestic service. It could begin with a newly married couple who may need some help to make a little things easy for the new wife who in some cases may not know how to undertake some of the challenging domestic duties.

In Igbo ethnic nationality, this is very common because mothers of newly married wives know that in many instances their daughters are going into challenges that may befall their daughter in their new homes. In order to aminorate their challenges and difficulties, they would probably ask one of their young female children to accompany their sisters to their new homes where they could be facing strange environment.

In many instances, studies show that this practice is not limited to only Igbo ethnic nationality. It is applicable to other ethnic nationalities, particularly  Yoruba, Edo, Effik, Ibibio, Ijaw all in South. It is also practised in other cultures such as Nupe, Birom, Anga, Jukun, etc. Because, no mother would allow her departing daughter into a new home to expose to the fullest, her novice behaviour in things such as keeping the house clean, fetching water, greetings to the elders etc. Unfortunately due to our so called civilization, marriage customs which provided for initial tutlage through first visit, second and third visit before the girl organizes the today’s traditional wedding is no longer in vogue. Plus the fact that today courting between the perspective partners has almost disappeared because of the emergence of “life style” which our youths are adopting. A new dimension includes “engagements” that took place in airplanes, buses on the road or even at any point where “the frenzy of love” begins.

Of course, when time was time, for example, “when shrew (nkapia) blows the whistle while the toad does the dancing?” things were differently done.

Then and only then, courtship could take years before their real arrangement could begin with formal seeking of parents’ approval leading to formal introduction.

Today, with the emergence of social media, would be couple could chart on internet today, by tomorrow they have arranged for engagement. This is nothing but “marriage and love intoxication based on photogenic illusions.”

Therefore, it is more often than not that such marriages contracted on elusive arrangement that is the number one cause of broken marriages these days.

I recall that when I was a taxi driver years ago in the United States as an indegent student that I picked a lady whose marriage had lasted only two days, fleeing her home. She came into the car and urged me to drive out immediately, before, “he catches me.” Few meters away, I wanted to know her reason for her prehension. She merely said, “thank God I am alive.” I did not know that I am a fool to have married a person I did not court enough.” Indeed she was on escape flight. She did not talk to me again until I dropped her the Street called Mockingbird, far away from Ross Street in the East of the city.

The same thing is happening today in our society rampantly resulting in different degree of domestic violence. Another major reason of domestic violence is the marriage incompartibility. According to one Emily Hunt, “no two persons can cohabit together if they are incompartible if they are incompartible in social outlook, feeding habit, sexual urge, table etiquettes, dress mode etc. every little thing will strigger quarrel and frequence of quarrel  will snowboild into crisis of living together.”

It has been said by sociologists, humanists and other schoolars that no two persons can live together as husband and wife unless one plays the fool or the weak. This is indeed a truism. Because two individuals are two different human beings.

Another reason for frequent domestic violence is the suspiction of inferdility. Most of this could be some out of jealousy of either the partner. Mr Moreoften than not, husbands exercise this stupid attitude particularly if their wives are “jealously beautiful.” If they have the power, they would not wish to see their wives greet any man that is not of the same blood relation. Stupidity at the highest stage.

Another son that gives rise to domestic violence is dual bank accounts. Men don’t want to know the strenght of their bank accounts by their wives.  But many house wives would like to know how safe they are by waying their husbands financial bouyancy. Even many private account for the reason of, “planning for their children. If their results in regular disagreement, it may conflict that may cause physical combat.

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