When it comes to domestic violence, attention goes to either of a couple maltreating the other. As much as this is true, it is high time people began to think aside the couple when analysing the negativity of domestic violence. This can be considered with a more apt understanding of the word ‘domestic’ as encompassing other environments different from the family (immediate and extended) enclosure or home. The extended family comes in view when one or more members display any act of violence on either of a couple or becomes a silent tool for the display of violence by either of a couple in the home. Two other important domestic environments are the church and the country at large.
Violence is an act of abuse; physical, verbal, emotional, psychological and spiritual. It is possible for one person to go through more than an act of violence from one or different abusers in the same domestic environment. The most debated one is the spousal violence, followed by parental violence. In today’s family environment, some men feel threatened by the success of their wives and rather than acknowledge and support them, they look for fault at the slightest action of the women and lash out at them. The tendency is to further suppress the women to physical, mental and psychological submission. The media have been agog recently with cases of violence by husbands on their wives which has resulted to women resolving to speak out against such acts. The men have also pointed out with some pictorial evidences of wives abusing their husbands. Whichever way the pendulum spins, the feelings or outcomes are not soothing to the marital or home environment.
The same goes with violence against a ward at home; biological or not. Countless cases of rape of minors and women by unexpected sexual predators are mind boggling, while physical abuse on poor domestic minors is on the increase. This has prompted concerned neighbours to go out of their way to inspect and investigate any wound on a child he or she comes across, in case the child is undergoing domestic violence at the hand of one madam of the house or master of a shop. There is therefore an increased awareness of this ill and everyone seems to be on the watch for the slightest domestic violence against a member of the home environment.
The church is meant to be a spiritual domestic environment that several troubled people tend to take shelter and mental solace from tormenting issues of the larger society, home inclusive. However, some feeble minded faithfuls have fallen into the pit of subtle mental violence in this environment. Rather than experience the fellowship and serenity the Almighty promised those who genuinely seek his face, these unfortunate ones get drawn to the point of losing their individuality. Many have been manipulated to undertake demeaning acts. Unfortunately, no matter the hues and cries of the media and public against this mental violence, those who find themselves at this negative side of the spiritual environment, seem engrossed in their beliefs.
By extension, the country is also a domestic environment for its citizens. This is why the president of a country speaks of his country’s domestic affairs, ranging from political activities, events and situations existing in his country that give rise to domestic policies. The goal of every government is to ensure a conducive environment for its citizens to live in dignity and peace. It is therefore gross domestic violence on the citizens if they cannot boast of having the basic amenities to accord them relatively good life. It is not an exaggeration to say that many people are presently going through domestic violence meted to them by virtue of being in the Nigerian environment.
The most excruciating domestic violence that is presently hitting hard on a good number of citizens is the ASUU strike. It might almost be impossible to see a family, immediate or extended, that is untouched by the effect of the strike; mentally or psychologically. Many students whose parents can afford it, have thrown in the towel and relocated abroad to start their tertiary education all over. Notwithstanding, this change may leave a psychological scar on them for some time. On the other hand, it is worse for those who cannot afford the migration to fulfil their educational dreams.
By implication, the domestic violence of the country can result to the family and church domestic violence, while the result of consistent domestic violence from any of these environments can be mental imbalance, untimely death or suicide.