Domestic Violence Against Women and Its Impacts on Children’s Development
Aims and Objectives of Study
The primary objective of this study is to investigate into domestic violence against women and its impact on children’s development. Specifically, to:
- Assess how the psychology of a child is impacted upon by domestic violence in the family.
- Investigate the various forms of domestic violence women experience.
- Examine the academic consequences of domestic violence against women on a child.
Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literatures that would assist in explaining the research problem and furthermore recognize the efforts of scholars who had previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.
Precisely, the chapter will be considered in four sub-headings:
- Conceptual Framework
- Theoretical Framework, and
- Empirical study
Conceptual Literature/ or Thematic Concerns
Conflict and Violence
A conflict is a situation in which individuals, groups or countries are involved in serious disagreements or disputes. Conflict is a necessary process in life. Within the individual, there is always a conflict between thoughts, choices and interests, to name a few. This is known as intra-personal conflict. This not only makes decision making difficult, but has also been identified as a major cause of stress. On the other hand, there are interpersonal conflicts between individuals, groups, members of an organization and states.
Conflicts can also be constructive or destructive. When conflicts are handled or resolved properly, there will be peace. On the other hand, when resolution and reconciliation fail, conflict escalates into chaos, crisis or war (Ifeanyi 2006). Additionally, Gardiner and Simmons (1992) defined conflict as “deviations of interests, goals or priorities between individuals, groups or organizations or failure to meet the demands of a task; Activity or process ”. Duncan (1975) suggested that conflict involves certain types of hostility and bad desires, which can be considered a case of extreme competition. Conflicts are different from competition, although competition can lead to conflict. This suggests that conflicts may occur without any specific reference to competition, as it could occur as a result of breakdown in the mechanism of decision-making.
On this view DeCenzo (1997), described conflict as whenever two individuals come together, there are bound to be disagreements at time. That’s natural. However, sometimes these differences can grow to enormous proportions where they become detrimental to the involved parties and the environment. When that occurs conflict is present. Fischer defined violence (conflict) as any random or organized act that seeks to determine, delay, or otherwise influence a process through threat, verbal intimidation, hate speech, disinformation, physical assault, forced “protection,” blackmail, destruction of property, or assassination (Fischer 2002).
In a similar vein Igbuzor (cited in Aniekwe & Kushie 2011) views it as any act of violence perpetuated in the course of political activities, including pre, during and post electoral process, and may include any of the following acts: thuggery, use of force to disrupt the process (meetings or voting at polling stations) or the use of dangerous weapons to intimidate the processes (voters and other electoral process) or to cause bodily harm or injury to any person connected with processes. However, Fischer (2002 cited in Aniekwe & Kushie 2011) highlighted four descriptive categories of conflict and violence that emerge, suggesting a variety of motives, perpetrators, and victims which includes the following: Disgruntled voters against the state arising from perceived unfairness in the election process; The state in conflict with voters who challenges election results or hegemony of the state; Political rivals in conflict with each other in the quest to attain power; and A combination of two or more of the above categories. In the works of Fisher and Igbuzor (cit. Aniekwe & Kushie 2011), the concept of violence was anchored on electoral administration and its anomaly. Consequently, for them, electoral violence can occur at different stages in the election process starting with pre-election period (registration) to post election period (after results).
The crucial thing is for the monitors to understand deeply the context and concept of electoral violence for easy and comprehensive reporting of incidents in a way that will capture incidents across the stages without neglecting any stage.
Domestic violence is also known as domestic abuse, spousal above, battering, family violence and intimate partner violence (IPV). It is a pattern of abusive behaviours by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family or cohabitation. Domestic violence, so defined, has many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse otherwise known as neglect; and economic deprivation (Seimeniuk, Krentz, Gish and Gill, 2010).
Domestic violence and abuse is not limited to obvious physical violence. It can mean endangerment, criminal coercion, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, trespassing, harassment and stalking (National Network to End Domestic Violence, 2011). The us office and Violence Against Women (OVM) defines domestic violence as a “pattern of abusive behaviour in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner”. The definition adds that domestic violence “can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender”, and can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, economic and psychological abuse (Office of Violence Against Women, 2007). Violence against women is a technical term used to collectively refer to violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. Similar to a hate crime, this type of violence targets a specific group with victim’s gender as primary motive.
This chapter gives the methodology that the researcher used in the study. The research design, population of the study, sampling and sample size, methods of data collection, techniques of data analysis and limitations of methodology.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled.
Population of the Study
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitute of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried out to examine domestic violence against women and its impact on children’s development using residents of Ibadan North Local Government, Oyo State as case study. The women, teachers and students in Ibadan North Local Government, Oyo State form the population of the study.
Ibadan North is a Local Government Area in Oyo State, Nigeria. Its headquarters stood at Agodi in Ibadan. The postal code of the area is 200. It has an area of 27 km2 and a population of 856,988 according to the Oyo State Government in 2017.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the findings from the study as feedback from the respondents. As described in the previous chapter, frequency tables have been used in this chapter to present the outcomes from the study. Questionnaires were used to a large extent as an instrument of data collection. The researcher analyzed the chapter based on information gathered quantitatively and qualitatively. The questionnaires were distributed to a sample of 1000 respondents. The hypotheses are tested in this chapter using Pearson Correlation and the discussion of the findings made using the responses from the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
In this study, our focus was to carry out a critical analysis on domestic violence against women and its impact on children development using Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State as case study. The study specifically was aimed at ascertaining how the psychology of a child is impacted upon by domestic violence in the family, investigate the various forms of domestic violence women experience, and examine the academic consequences of domestic violence against women on a child.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 1000 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are residents of Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State.
The findings from the analysis revealed that all the respondents are fully aware of the term domestic violence and its meaning. This was shown in table 4.2. table 4.3 shows that the major people that experience domestic violence is women. Majority of the respondents view in table 4.4 shows that women are frequently abused domestically in the society. Also, in table 4.5, the various domestic violence against women are sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse. This was confirmed from the responses of all the respondents consenting to them. Table 4.6 analysis shows that domestic violence against women has a negative influence on a child’s development.
Also, psychological effect, emotional effect, behavioural effect, mental effect and social effect were the various ways domestic violence against women in the family affect the child’s development. This was validated in the analysis in table 4.7. furthermore, table 4.8, 4.9 and 4.9 shows that domestic violence affects a child’s academic performance and has a psychological effect on them by increasing aggressiveness in the child, causing anxiety, creating fear and timidity in the child. Also lack of concentration in school, dropping out of school, playing truancy in school and lateness to school are among the various ways domestic violence against women affect the academic performance of a child.
The tested hypotheses using Pearson Correlation Analysis show that there is a significant relationship between domestic violence and child’s negative psychological change (.922**). Also, that there is a significant relationship between domestic violence and child’s poor academic performance (.899**).
Violence against women is a fundamental and human right issue. It carries with it both short- and long-term implication on peace and security of Nigeria because it affects women’s physical and psychological wellbeing. This is because development will make little sense if the population of women is excluded from participating, contributing and reaping its benefits. That is exactly what happens when violence – together with harmful gender norms and discriminatory legislation prevents women from being full partners in development projects.
Better job opportunities and female empowerment through education can reduce the risk of violence. However, in order for peace and security and the targets of the MDGs to be realized in the Nigerian communities, comprehensive approaches to peaceful coexistence that reduces gender inequality and violence against women must be developed and implemented. Women cannot take their rightful place in the power structure of Nigeria until the cultural attitudes and socialization practices are overcome by women themselves.
The inferiorization and demonization of women that they lack the will and self-esteem to actually seek and gain power must be overcome by a broader informal and formal education system. Educational levels of women must improve. Illiteracy, the bane of the majority of women, must be battled. Harmful traditional practices militating against women having the time and space to do politics must be stopped. Women on their own must respond to these, by speaking out and creating support base for themselves and also try as much as they can to inculcate moral values into their children.
Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:
- There is need for educating people about family responsibility, as way of eradicating domestic violence among families.
- There should be advocacy and legislation on the abolition of all traditional practices that limit women’s access to credit, economic resources, property rights and right to inheritance.
- Gender Policies that state the strategies to improve women’s economic rights, should be made effective.
- Poverty reduction strategies should have substantive gender components. Hence, government should mainstream gender and rural women in the implementation of development initiative such development initiatives. All the programs for the development of rural areas and empowerment of rural dwellers should articulate the needs of rural women and allocate resources to address these needs as a matter of priority. By so doing, such policies like the NEEDS/SEEDS policy should as a matter of urgency recognize the contributions and situation of rural women and the implications of violence on rural women empowerment.
- There should be training for policy formulators on how gender dimensions be tackled and integrated into policy and how these gender dimensions be integrated within the MDG’s and the needs/seeds and made sustainable.
- Efforts to domesticate CEDAW and pass the Abolition of all forms of Discrimination Law and the Administration of Criminal Justice Law should be renewed. Hence, effective domestication of these laws should be decentralized and implemented at all levels of government.
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