Full Project – EVALUATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON THE HEALTH OF WOMEN IN AKURE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ONDO STATE
1.1 Background to the study
Domestic violence occurs in both same-sex relationships as well as opposite-sex relationships. It should also be noted that domestic violence affects other family members, friends, and co-workers in office (Office on Violence against Women, OVW, 2005). If a child grows up with domestic violence, he is, in effect, taught that violence is a normal way of life. A behavior inculcated by the very people who are supposed to provide him with love and comfort. This sets in motion a vicious cycle where children of abusers become abusers themselves. By definition, domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any intimate relationship that is used by one partner to maintain a sense of control over the other. Domestic violence is further defined as physical or sexual violence within the family. This includes sexual abuse of children and physical abuse of elderly parents (Etter and Birzer, 2007). Domestic violence occurs without regard to race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It matters not if one comes from upper-, middle-, or lower-class families.
Unfortunately, domestic violence is very prevalent in our society. In the United States, it is estimated that between two to four million women are victims of domestic violence every year. It is probable that every 18 seconds someone is a victim of domestic violence. In one research study it was determined that approximately 80.8% of accused abusers were male as compared to 19.2% of female offenders. While females do abuse, most reported offenders are male (Etter and Birzer, 2007). There seems to be three main characteristics of men who batter their partners; frustration or stress, gender roles or learned behavior, and alcohol (Etter and Birzer, 2007). The excessive consumption of alcohol is a major contributor to domestic violence. Approximately 43.5% of State prisoners victimizing a family member and 53.8% victimizing non family members were using drugs or alcohol when they committed the offense of domestic violence (U.S. Department of Justice [DOJ], 2005).
Generally, when the subject of domestic violence is discussed, one thinks about physical abuse. However, there are many types of abuse that fall under the umbrella of domestic violence. The major areas of concern with respect to domestic violence are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and psychological abuse (Hamm, 2000). Violence against women has been a serious problem in most societies throughout history. Women in Africa, like their counterparts over the world, suffer domestic violence irrespective of age, class, religion or social status (Hamm, 2000). Violence against women, violence among both men and women is a universal problem in many countries. Physical violence in particular is very common among intimate partners in both developed and developing countries. Physical violence is the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing death, disability, injury or harm. Physical violence includes but it is not limited to, scratching, pushing, shoving and throwing, grabbing, biting, choking, shaking, slapping, punching, burning, use of a weapon and use of restraints or ones’ body size, or strength against another person (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 2007).
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action defines Violence against Women as ‘any act of gender based violence that results in or likely to result in physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or private life” (WHO, 2005). Domestic violence is the intentional and persistent abuse of anyone in the home in a way that causes pain, distress or injury. It refers to any abusive treatment of one family member by another, thus violating the law of basic human rights. It includes battering of intimate partner and others, sexual abuse of children, marital rape and traditional practices that are harmful to women. Female genital mutilation is a form of domestic violence (UNICEF, 2005). Incidents of domestic violence include honour battering, beating, torture, acid baths and even death through honour killing (Heidi, 1998; Adebayo and Kolawole, 2013). It is has been estimated that one in every three women suffers domestic violence from the hands of those who claim to love and protect them. Also, it is estimated that one in every five women faces some forms of violence during her life time leading to serious injury or death in some cases (WHO, 2005).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
All over the world irrespective of culture and religion, women are suffering physically and emotionally from different forms of violence. Around the world, at least one out of three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family (WHO, 2004). According to UNFPA (2002) report, more than 60% of women worldwide have been abused around the world. (Krug, Dahlberg and Mercy, 2002) asserted that 10 to 69% of the women reported were assaulted by an intimate partner. TJaden (2000) reported that in the United States of America, each year, about 48% women experienced physical assaults and rape. Also, statistics show that every year in the United States, 1,000 to 1,600 women die at the hands of their male partners, often after a long, escalating pattern of battering. The estimated number of deaths due to intimate partner violence does not include those women who kill themselves to exit violent relationships, or who die homeless on the streets avoiding batterers (Websdale, 1999). In parts of the third world generally and in West Africa in particular, domestic violence is prevalent and reportedly justified and condoned in some cultures. For instance, 56% of Indian women surveyed by an agency justified wife-beating on grounds like – bad cook, disrespect to in-laws, producing more girls, leaving home without informing the husband, among others. Statistics shows that 25% of women in Dakar and Kaolack in Senegal are subjected to physical violence from their partners and that very few admit they are beaten – while 60% of domestic violence victims turn to a family member, in three-quarter of the cases they are told to keep quiet and endure the beatings (Krug, Dahlberg and Mercy 2002). The report also reveals that a law passed in the Senegalese penal code punishing domestic violence with prison sentences and fines is poorly enforced due to religious and cultural resistance. In Ghana, spousal assaults top the list of domestic violence (Aihie, 2009). In Russia, 12,000 women die every year as a result of domestic violence. In Pakistan, the Human Rights Commission of that country says 80 percent of women there are victims of domestic violence.
In South Africa, 49,280 cases of rape were reported in 1998 while the Non-governmental Rape Crisis Centre asserts that the actual number of rapes is higher since many incidents go unreported. In Bangladesh the killing of women by their husbands accounts for 50% of murders. In Peru, the National Police received 28,000 report of domestic abuse around the same period while in the United States, the Centre for Disease Control reports that at least 1.8million women are assaulted every year by the men in their lives. Also, a 1999 Government report in the United States indicates a serious problem of sexual abuse of women in State and Federal Prisons and in Nigeria reports show that many babies are conceived, born and raised inside prison cells. A survey undertaken by the National Institute of Statistics in Metropolitan Lima shows that no less than 82 percent of the 2,460 women interviewed said that they knew someone who had suffered some kind of domestic abuse within the preceding twelve months (Project Alert, 2004; Eze-Anaba, 2006). Current estimates of gender based violence indicate that between 8-70% of women worldwide have been physically and sexually assaulted by a male partner at least once in their life (Heise, Ellsberg and Guttemoeller 1999)
In Zambia, DHS data indicate that 27% of ever-married women reported being beaten by their spouse or partner in the past year and about 13% of 15-19 year olds were sexually coerced in the past 12 months (Zambia Demographic and Health Survey, 2002). In rural Ethiopia, 49% of ever partnered women have ever experienced physical violence by an intimate partner, while 59% had ever experienced sexual violence (World Health Organization, 2005).
All these variations may be a consequence of underreporting, stigma, shame or other social and cultural factors that deter women from discussing episodes of violence (Saidi, Awori, and Odula 2008). In another hospital based study in Nairobi, the prevalence of sexual violence was 61.5%, while the proportion of physical assault was 38.5%. This study also reported that majority of the perpetrators of gender based violence were married (72.3%) and alcohol was a significant contributor in 10.1% of determinant cases (Oladepo, Yusuf and Arulogun, 2011).
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The overall objectives of this study on domestic violence against women in Akure Local Government Area of Ondo State: Specific objectives are to identify:
- The impacts of domestic violence on physical health of women in Akure Local Government Area, Ondo State.
- The impacts of domestic violence on social health of women in Akure Local Government Area, Ondo State.
- The impacts of domestic violence on psychological health of women in Akure Local Government Area, Ondo State.
- Research Questions
- What are the impacts of domestic violence on physical health of women?
- What are the impacts of domestic violence on social health of women?
- What are the impacts of domestic violence on psychological health of women?
- Research Hypotheses
- There is no significant impact of domestic violence on physical health of women in Akure Local Government Area of Ondo State.
- There is no significant impact of domestic violence on social health of women in Akure Local Government Area of Ondo State.
- There is no significant impact of domestic violence on psychological health of women in Akure Local Government Area of Ondo State.
1.6 Definition of Terms
- Domestic Violence:- is define as physical or sexual violence within the family. These include sexual abuse of children and physical abuse of elderly parents (Etter and Birzer, 2007)
- 2. Violence: – action intends to cause destruction, pain, or suffering.
- Health:- the state of been free from physical or psychological diseases, illness, or malfunction; wellness.
- Women:- means female or ladies.
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