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1.1      Background of the Study

Domestic violence has been a part of human history, and human civilizations have tolerated it without feeling guilty. Violence against women is a consequence of historically uneven power relations between men and women, which have resulted in males exercising dominance over and discriminating against women, so preventing women from achieving complete equality. Violence against women is a worldwide scourge that continues to murder, torment, and maim women on a physical, psychological, sexual, and emotional level. It is one of the most common violations of human rights, depriving women of their security, equality, dignity, self-worth, and right to basic freedom. Violence against women occurs in the majority of the world’s nations, regardless of culture, class, education, money, ethnic origin, or age (UN declaration on the elimination of violence Against Women and General Assembly Resolution, 1993).

Domestic violence, according to the Women Aid Collective (2004), may be defined as any action taken against another person that is capable of depriving the individual of a fundamental human right.  (Women Aid Collective 2004) added that domestic violence is a form of bullying whereby a person is dealt with physically, thus resulting to injury on the victim just because the perpetrator does not know of any other way to handle the situation.

Kantor in Yogo (2008), stated that domestic violence is a pressing global issue which is often associated with women’s isolation from supportive kin ties. It is an essential component of gender-based violence which has been defined as those actions and activities that cause physical, psychological and emotional harm to a person just because of mere misunderstanding, (Ityavyar in Okeph, 2005). As a phenomenon, however, violence against women relates to a broad spectrum of issues affecting the existence of the female specie in relation to the family. The female folks suffer in their matrimonial homes because God Almighty constituted marriage in the Garden of Eden, made women help mate and consequently our social system places women in a disadvantaged position (Okpeh, 1999).

The study of Secretary General of United Nation (2004) explained that early marriage involves the marriage of a child below the age of 18 years. Young girls have not achieved full maturity and capacity to act, and lack ability to control their sexuality. When they marry and have children, their health can be adversely affected. Early marriage has inflicted dangerous and devastating effects on young girls who are compelled to tie the knot in most cases.

The convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) adopt in (1979) affirmed that the principle of fundamental rights and freedom of every human being are guided by a broad concept of human right that stretches beyond civil and political rights to the core issues of economic survival, health and education that affect the quality of daily life for most women and children. United Nation General Assembly (1993) postulated that violence and abusive behaviour continue to be a major cause of death, injury, stress and fear in various families. Domestic violence and abusive behaviour are responsible for poor family relationship, although personality conflicts and troubles within a marriage affect intimate behaviour, (Olson and Defrain 2006).


1.2      Statement of the Problem

This study’s problem was based on, the researcher’s experiences, conversations and observations on the happenings in families. Husbands and wives do not discuss family issues but husbands take sole decisions. Through interactions with friends and colleagues, women talk about their situations at home, there they are commonly abused by their spouses through battering, sexual abuse, giving out female children in marriage at the early years and depriving them neither to participate in the decision of child marriage nor to take part in family affairs. Such early marriages limit education, affects young girls’ academic pursuits, the future compromised and other opportunities often leading to early child bearing and increased health risks. Early child bearing affects female reproductive organs and health problems such as unsafe abortion, and obstetric fistula. Husbands take decision whether it suits the family or not. Though most wives and children suffer the consequences of the heads of the families decisions.

It is also observed that violation of women at home has made women situation difficult to participate fully in issues concerning them in the home and in the society. As such, women have no freedom to speak for themselves because of fear of punishment from their husbands. Men think women are meant for giving birth, taking care of the children and doing only domestic works. The problem statement pf the study therefore was whether domestic violence against women had effects on family relations.

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