Lawyers decry growing trend of domestic violence against women

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LAGOS – Some lawyers in Lagos on Saturday decried the growing trend of domestic violence against women and blamed the women for not reporting their different ordeals.

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), they said women had been worst hit by domestic violence.

A lawyer and social critic, Mr Ogedi Ogu, said domestic violence was a major contributory factor to the rising rate of divorce cases in the country.

“The weight of domestic violence unleashed on women in the society is becoming alarming, and requires redress,” he said.

Ogu said some victims of domestic violence were often constrained to sue for judicial separation in order to save themselves from untimely death.

He also blamed women for their failure to report cases of violence to the appropriate authority.

Ogu said while some women would readily quit their marriages, a handful still stay on in the union, either due to family pressure or because of their children.

He however said there were many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) now looking into such matters.

The lawyer said there was the need for a specific legislation to serve as a check on the abuse of women, which he said was fast becoming a norm in Nigeria.

Another lawyer, Mr Mike Dugeri, said a combination of factors have led to the perpetuation of domestic violence in the society.

“Domestic violence is perceived as a family issue, and some women have come to accept it as part of family life and would rather prefer to keep mute,’’ he said.

He said if such women who experienced violence from their spouses could protest to the appropriate channels, the vice would be a thing of the past.

“It is erroneous for any person to see domestic violence as a family issue. This has been a major reason why cases of violence keep lingering in the society,” Dugeri said.

He said women were not the only victims of violence, since some of them also engaged in the habit of assaulting their husbands.

“Women are the major victims of violence in the home. But, it is also important to note that some women harass and assault their husbands, though, the cases are rare,” the lawyer said.

In his comments, Mr Emmanuel Adesina, also a lawyer, said that there was the need to encourage female education and empowerment.

“This will act as a check on some of the vices against women in the society,’’ he said. (NAN)