Group Decries High Rate of Domestic Violence in Nigeria

. . Blames Substance Abuse

By Ikeugonna Eleke

A Non-Governmental Organization, Safenest, has decried the high rate of domestic violence in Nigeria, linking it to abuse of harmful substances by spouses.

The Executive Director of the group, Mrs Oluchukwu Chukwuenyem, stated this during a one day seminar by the group on fostering better relationship among couples for proper child upbringing and better society.

Chukwuenyem said that within the one year that the group came into existence, it had witnessed several cases of violence among couples, to the level that it had become a regular happening.

She linked the high rate of domestic violence to abuse of hard drugs, alcohol and other illicit substances which he attributed to economic factor, stress, misunderstanding and several others.

‘The rate of domestic violence in our society today is very high. Within the short period this Organization has been in existence, we have seen that many families collapse due to minor and flimsy issues which ordinarily should not lead to family disunity if proper understanding is applied.

‘The rate at which couples divorce in our society is alarming and it is the children that suffer most in the situation because proper parental care, guidance and training will never be there again. ‘Domestic Violence in Igbo land is a problem as in many parts of Nigeria.

There is a deep cultural belief in Igbo land that it is socially acceptable to hit a woman to discipline her.

This victimization affects people at all levels of economic status.

However indications of lower socio-economic status, such as unemployment, low income and abuse of illicit drugs, have proved to be risk factors for higher levels of domestic violence in our society,’ she said. Chukwuenuyem said that domestic violence was not only peculiar to women, but that cases abound where wives had abused their husbands. She said that such cases had gone unreported because of the shame associated with it.

She stated that most couples who had had issues, most of who were at the event, had been rehabilitated by the group and once more set on the path of marital bliss.

She commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for its fight against drug abuse in the state, saying that the fight had helped to keep most marriages steady.

The highlight of the event was a contest between couples, which saw four of them winning gift items and cash rewards.

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