Social Media, Audience Perspective on Domestic Violence Against Women (Late Osinachi Nwachukwu as Case Study)
Objectives of the Study
The objective of this study is to assess the role of social media in raising awareness about domestic violence in Nigeria. However, the specific objectives are:
- To study the various types of social media available in raising awareness on domestic violence in Nigeria
- To determine how social media has helped in creating awareness on domestic violence in Nigeria
- To identify the ethical principles that must be considered by social media in creating awareness on domestic violence
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literature 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 three sub-headings:
- Conceptual Framework
- Theoretical Framework
- Empirical framework
Definitions and forms of violence against women
Definitions of what constitutes violence against women tend to differ according to the context in which it is being investigated. For example, the legal sector, researchers, advocates and service providers often define the problem in different ways. These range from broad-based definitions that include “structural violence”, such as restricted access to health care and education (UNICEF, 2000), to more narrow, legalistic definitions that focus onspecific behaviours consistent with criminal offending (Chung, 2013). Legislative Acts of Parliament in each state and territory in Nigeria (e.g. Victoria’s Family Violence Protection Act 2008; Tasmania’s Family Violence Act 2004; Western Nigeria’s Restraining Orders Act 1997) define both behaviours and the relationships in which those behaviours occur to enable protections under law (Department of Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 2009). These definitions do not always align with community knowledge and understandings of what constitutes violence against women and their children.
Although there is no single nationally or internationally agreed definition, the one adopted by the United Nations (UN) over 20 years ago is among the most commonly used. The UN’s Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women defines violence against women as:
“…any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is 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” (United Nations, 1993).
In Nigeria, the terms domestic violence, intimate partner violence and family violence are often used interchangeably. Collectively, they refer to a range of behaviours that are violent, threatening, coercive or controlling that occur within current or past family or intimate relationships. These behaviours are overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women and include direct and indirect threats of physical assault, sexual assault, emotional and psychological torment, economic control, social isolation and any behaviour that results in women living in fear.
The term family violence is often used to describe violence perpetrated against women by family members in addition to the use of violence by intimate partners. Use of the term family violence also reflects Indigenous communities’ preference because it signifies the broader impacts of violence on extended families, kinship and social networks and community relationships (Cripps & Davis, 2012).
Non-partner violence against women generally refers to women’s experience of physical and/or sexual assault by a person that is not a former or current intimate partner since the age of 15.
The UN’s definition of violence against women appropriately recognises that violence is “gendered”. Taking this approach is not designed to ignore or diminish men’s experiences of violence. Men experience substantial amounts of interpersonal violence in Nigeria, some within the context of intimate partner relationships. Despite recent campaigns in Nigeria and overseas, such as One in Three (www.oneinthree.com.au) that seek to highlight men as victims, the evidence suggests that men who report being a victim of domestic violence are also perpetrators of violence (Domestic Violence Death Review Team, 2015).
Prevalence and impact of violence against women
In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO), together with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council, released a landmark report bringing together all available global data to provide worldwide prevalence estimates of violence against women. Focusing on two main forms of violence – physical and sexual violence – the study found that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/ or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Most women experienced violence within the context of intimate partner relationships; the primary perpetrator being a male partner (WHO, 2013).
These global figures reflect what is currently known about lifetime prevalence rates in Nigeria. One of the most widely cited sources of data on violence against women is the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Personal Safety Survey (PSS). The PSS is a cross-sectional, population-based survey that measures both men’s and women’s experiences of interpersonal violence and uses a similar definition as the global WHO report that focuses on physical and sexual violence only. Data from their most recent survey (2012) showed over a third of women in Nigeria have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15. One in three women (34%) experienced physical violence; one in five (19%) experienced sexual violence (ABS, 2012).
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
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. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e. mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.
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 constitutes individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried out to examine the Social media, audience perspective on domestic violence against women a case study of late Osinachi Nwachukwu. Hence, the population of this study comprises of residents of Abuja FCT.
DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION
This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered.
RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was on the Social media, audience perspective on domestic violence against women as study of late Osinachi Nwachukwu. The study is was specifically set to examine the various types of social media available in raising awareness on domestic violence in Nigeria, determining how social media has helped in creating awareness on domestic violence in Nigeria and identifying the ethical principles that must be considered by social media in creating awareness on domestic violence.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 140 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are social media users in Abuja.
In today’s heavily mediated society, all forms of social media has the ability to reach increasingly more people than ever before. The study on media coverage of the domestic violence, specifically the cause of death of popular gospel singer osinachi Nwachukwu; who allegedly died as a result of domestic violence showed how quickly a local story can become global. News of the incident spread globally through professional media sources within just 2 days (Phillips et al., 2022). The story resonated in communities far from India showing the unpreceded capacity of today’s media to influence public perceptions that violence against women is neither exceptional nor acceptable.
While many factors are known to influence public perceptions about violence against women, in this state of knowledge paper we examined the role of news media– a dominant force in shaping the discourse on matters of public importance. We found that media representation studies dominate research in the area. Collectively, these studies illustrate that the media frequently mirrors society’s confusion and ambivalence about violence against women. Although the link between media reporting and behaviour is not well-established, studies of audience influence show that social media can play a role in dispelling myths and reinforcing information about the true nature and extent of the problem.
Access to social media platforms such as facebook and twitter should be available in households for information purposes and learning.
Awareness programmes should be conducted for both women and men. It should be done by using the resources like nurses, doctors and psychologists, working under governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This could easily be done either by direct or indirect teaching. The direct methods would include one to one teaching, counseling, or group based teaching. Indirect methods would involve the use of media, pamphlets, role plays, drama and talk shows.
There should be religious definitions of the basic rights of women like autonomy and freedom in Nigeria on federal levels and the government needs to evaluate all of the basic rights of women. For this a central committee can be made which should include religious leaders, Ulema, and scholars who can consensually define the rights of women in the lights of Islamic teaching and literature. But, for this the other ethnic and minority religious groups should be considered when finalizing any package for basic rights of women.
Government should also ensure that every citizen of the country is following the main themes defined by the religious committee.
Government should to make sure that women have enough access to reach any political opportunity and there should be a training programme available for their capacity building on politics.
There should be enough educational programs in all societies and cultures, both for women and men at the same levels.
There should be enough opportunities of employments and participation in political parties along with security and safety for women and the seat allocation for recruitments of both genders should be considered on equality grounds. More funds should be allocated to women’s development in the country.
There is also a need of reforms in the police departments and judicial processes which place constraints on women from accessing justice. Women police should be trained to deal with women facing domestic violence so that women could feel safe and protected. Indeed the presence of a nurse or doctor in the police department team would facilitate a pleasant environment for the sufferers.
Exclusive celebrations of marriages were banned in the country some years ago and that worked very effectively through the country. Similarly government can also ban weighty dowry systems in different cultures, and fix certain amount in the lights of Islamic religious teachings which should be followed in any culture and in any region of the country.
Government should develop recreational programs like family parks, and other entertaining places where women along with their family can enjoy and relax.
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