In discussions and issues on domestic violence, it is often assumed that women are the victims or perhaps children. Most times when a man is seen to be the victim, he’s perceived to be weak, timid, not commanding enough authority, not man enough and in extreme cases, such men are assumed to have been spiritually hypnotized by their female partners, etc.
In as much as some of the examples given above may be true, it is significant to note that, it’s not always the case that men are always the guilty party when it comes to domestic physical or sexual abuse because recent researchers have revealed that men now report being beaten by their wives! Surprised? But that is the truth.
In the commercial city of Lagos , Nigeria, No stats revealed this year alone that no fewer than 57 men have reported to the government that they suffer battering from the their wives and this in stark contrast to the stats reportedly given as at last year.
Mrs Titulola Vivour-Adeniyi, the Coordinator, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team made this observation known in an exclusive interview with The Next Edition.
She claimed that the rise in reports of cases on domestic violence is as a result many citizens becoming aware of rights and have also realised that there were legal institutions were cases of injustice and domestic violence are well attended to.
Vivour-Adeniyi speaking further on the topic disclosed that there had been increase in the reports of other cases like sexual abuse and domestic violence on the part of women and children.
In Her words: “Last year we had a total of 400 cases, so far this year; we’ve had over 900 cases. Again, last year we had 10 cases of men coming forward to report violence against them. This year we’ve had about 57 cases.
“Also, last year we received about 400 cases of child abuse, this year, we’ve received over a thousand cases.”
Commenting further the Lagos state coordinator spoke on the unique fact that there’s an increased and conscious effort to report violence compared to previous years.
“What is on the increase is the reportage. From the statistics, you can see that we have over a 100% increase in reporting.
“These issues have always been there and this increase in reporting does not even scratch the surface of what is truly happening and we are very much aware of that.”
While speaking on how to tackle the hazards of domestic violence she said although it may not be possible to totally extinguish domestic violence and sexual abuse in the society, her team would do all within their power to reduce such occurrences to its barest minimum.
She further disclosed: “For all the rape and defilement cases, the perpetrators have been caught and charged to court; for the domestic violence cases, we have obtained about 15 restraining orders on behalf of survivors, and we have four convictions so far – two for rape and two for child abuse.”
She complained bitterly on how her team is facing resistance due to people’s belief that such issues are not as important as they present it
“There are people who just want to ‘settle’ cases of rape, defilement and child abuse,” she said.
The legal practitioner advising the general public said that individuals should be mindful of signs that would indicate possible traits of violence while in courtship or preparing for marriage.
Examples of such signs include Envy monitoring of partners, jealousy, stalking, isolation and harassment.
According to Vivour-Adeniyi, “it is easier to call off an engagement than to walk out on a marriage.”
The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team were established in September 2014 to provide a holistic response to the issues of rape, domestic violence and child abuse in the state. It is made up of representatives of different organisations, ministries, NGOs and the media.
This establishment by the Lagos state Administration is a very positive and welcomed development especially because it would help in creating sanity in family life and society at large.
Gift Joseph Okpakorese