Domestic Violence Perpetrated Against Women and Its Effect on Children’s Growth

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

The family, being the smallest unit of society, is one of the most important agents of socialization. The family is the first and most essential socializing agent since it is where a kid gets his or her first encounters in life and has a significant impact in the child’s development. According to psychology, a child’s brain is blank like a white board, and whatever is written within it remains and contributes to the child’s development in either a positive or negative manner Dutton (1992). The activities of the husband and wife in the home have a bad or beneficial impact on the kid. Domestic violence among spouses is one of the elements that affects a household, according to research. Because of one reason or another, the majority of this violence is directed against women in the house, and it has become a hot topic. Domestic abuse is a divisive topic, which makes assessing it difficult.

The phrase has been defined in a variety of ways throughout the years. It is an act of threatening, harassing, or violence of any type, whether psychological, physical, sexual, or emotional, between adults engaged in or formerly involved in a relationship, regardless of their sex gender, according to Amnesty International, Nigeria (2005). Domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking, genital mutilation, and forced marriage are all examples of violence against women.

Many women are victims of various forms of domestic violence perpetrated by their spouses, including physical abuse such as beatings, slappings, the use of items on the lady, suffocation, and so on. Forced vaginal penetration, anal penetration, oral stimulation, and forced exposure to material or explicit sexual behavior are examples of sexual abuse that women face in their families. Any verbal, physical, or sexual act aimed to violate a woman’s body or identity, regardless of her age, color, nationality, or country, is considered violence against women.

Bodily violence, according to Dutton (1992), is any action that includes the purposeful use of force against another person’s body and that may result in physical harm and/or discomfort. Sexual abuse, according to the researcher, is any unwanted sexual contact inflicted on one person by another (Duyile,2022). According to studies, domestic violence has resulted in the deaths of countless women. Some people were seriously hurt, and some pregnant women lost their kids, while others were left crippled. According to Justice Department figures from 1994, women were engaged in 92 percent of domestic violence cases throughout the globe.

Domestic abuse affects many Nigerian families, according to Wopadovi (women against domestic violence) 2014, and is sadly on the rise in our culture. It makes women feel less confident in themselves and lowers their social standing. Domestic violence is frowned upon in every nation, including Nigeria. Section 42 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s (As Amended) constitution gives all Nigerians, including women, the right to be free of sex discrimination. Also, Section 34 guarantees every citizen the right to human dignity, which includes subsections (a) prohibiting torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, and (b) prohibiting the enslavement or servitude of anyone. Despite this, violence against women continues unabated, unchecked, and has been blamed on loopholes in our laws, some of which undermine the constitution’s provision for equality. Domestic abuse may affect everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic level, color, religion, or educational background.

Domestic violence not only endangers women’s health, but it also has negative repercussions for children’s survival and well-being. “A child” is defined as “any human being under the age of 18 years unless, under the legislation applicable to the child, which is acquired earlier,” according to Article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Children need a safe and secure environment devoid of violence, as well as loving and protective parents. Home is far from a safe sanctuary for far too many youngsters. Hundreds of millions of children are exposed to domestic violence at home every year, and this has a significant and lasting influence on their lives and future prospects. These children not only see one parent physically abusing another, but they also often hear the painful noises of violence or are aware of it because of a variety of telltale signals. Children who witness domestic violence in their own homes may watch the abuser threaten the adult victim, and even if they do not witness the actual physical attack, they are often exposed to the aftermath of shattered furniture, spilled food, and damaged photos. These youngsters often develop alone, afraid, and vulnerable as a result of their circumstances. They are always concerned about their own safety, as well as that of their mother and siblings. They may feel powerless and unimportant. Fear, humiliation, remorse, and melancholy are common emotional reactions among children who witness domestic abuse. Furthermore, children who watch their mother being abused by their father typically experience psychological trauma, which obstructs normal healthy growth. Stomachaches, headaches, and other associated symptoms are common physical reactions. Children who witness domestic violence may act out, withdraw, find it difficult to establish friends, or engage in aggressive, hazardous, or criminal conduct. These children have a higher chance of drug misuse, adolescent pregnancy, and criminal behavior later in life than those reared in nonviolent households. According to certain research, social development is also harmed. Some kids lose their capacity to empathize with others. Others are socially isolated, unable to make friends as readily as they would want owing to social awkwardness or a lack of understanding of what constitutes appropriate behavior. Many studies have shown that children from violent households display more aggressive behavior, such as bullying, and are up to three times more likely to fight. The youngsters may show anxiousness and have a limited attention span, which may lead to poor academic performance and attendance. They may encounter delays in verbal, motor, or cognitive development. When infants and little children are subjected to domestic abuse, they are exposed to so much additional emotional stress that it may disrupt their brain development and hinder cognitive and sensory maturation.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The process through which a person absorbs information, new behaviors, and develops is known as socialization. The family is the starting point for this procedure. Before moving on to the secondary stage of socialization, a kid learns to speak, walk, and call his or her name in the family. The activities of the husband and wife in the home have a bad or beneficial impact on the kid. A youngster picks up information from his parents. Whatever a youngster sees his parents do is excellent in his eyes, and he imitates it. A child’s development is divided into phases.

When a kid watches his father verbally, physically, or sexually assaulting his mother, the child may suffer physical, psychological, emotional, or behavioral difficulties in the short or long term as a consequence of the types of violence he/she is exposed to. This might sabotage the child’s growth and alter his or her fate. It might also have an impact on the child’s schooling, how he or she interacts with classmates, how they see the opposite sex, academic accomplishment, and other aspects of their lives. There has been a growing recognition that a kid who is exposed to domestic violence throughout his childhood may have developmental and psychological problems (Dodd, 2009). As a result, the focus of this research will be on domestic violence against women and its impact on children’s development.

1.3 Objective of the study

The primary objective of this study is to investigate domestic violence perpetrated against women and its effect on children’s growth . Specifically, to:

i.            To examine the different form of domestic violence been perpetrated against women.

ii.            To investigate how emotional distress can impede on a child’s growth.

iii.            To evaluate how domestic violence affect a child immature behaviour thereby impeding on the growth of the child.

iv.            To recommend ways domestic violence against women can be stopped or reduced in other for the growth of a child.

1.4       Research Question

The following questions guide the study:

i.            What are the different form of domestic violence been perpetrated against women?

ii.            Does emotional distress impede on a child’s growth?

iii.            Does domestic violence affect a child immature behaviour thereby impeding on the growth of the child?

iv.            How can domestic violence against women can be stopped or reduced in other for the growth of a child?

1.5 Hypotheses

The study developed for testing the following null hypotheses:

H01: There is no significant relationship between domestic violence and child’s immature behaviour.

H02: There is no significant relationship between domestic violence and child’s emotional distress

1.6 Significance

This study investigate into domestic violence against women and its impact on children’s development on domestic violence against women on children’s development will bring to the notice of the populace the various forms of domestic violence women are exposed to in the society. The study will also help both governmental and non-governmental organizations to identify these abused families and children, develop strategies to combat domestic violence, and encourage socially inclusive intervention mechanisms in poor neighborhoods. The study will also be of immense benefit to the policy makers to make laws that will prevent such abuses on women and provide a stiff punishment for victims who abuse women. The study further will serve as a reference material to scholars, researcher and students who may carry out further research in this topic or related domain.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study will focus on the different form of domestic violence been perpetrated against women. The study will also investigate how emotional distress can impede on a child’s growth.  The study will further evaluate how domestic violence affect a child immature behaviour thereby impeding on the growth of the child. Lastly, the study will recommend ways domestic violence against women can be stopped or reduced in other for the growth of a child. Hence this study will be delimited to resident of Benin city, Edo state.

1.8 Definition of Concepts

Violence: Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy.

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is violence or other abuse in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.

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