Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How to Detect and Avoid Signs of Domestic Violence by Police PRO Frank Mba

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Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Police Force, CSP Frank Mba has written a two-part article on his blog about how to detect spouse battery in marriage and relationships in general. He used the death of banker Titilayo who was murdered by her husband, Akolade Arowolo as the springboard to advise both men and women on how to avoid abuse - the killer of marriage and the people in them.

Detecting Signs of Spouse Battery (Part 1)

‘Recently a Lagos High Court in Ikeja sentenced to death Akolade Arowolo for the murder of his banker wife, Titilayo, who he repeatedly stabbed to death at their Lagos residence. The question everyone would naturally want to ask, is why?

This incident is not an isolated case because there are so many “Titilayos” who had been maimed or murdered in the past by their violent and aggressive spouses.
Could a man be so frustrated to the point of killing his wife and cutting her into pieces? Is he a confirmed drunk and wife beater? Why don’t ladies see all these signals before walking down the aisle? Was it his first time to beat her, why did she stay there? the questions are endless.

Battery, domestic abuse, spousal abuse, family violence, dating abuse, and intimate partner violence, are some of the terms associated with a pattern of behavior which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship   such as  marriage, cohabitation, and dating which involves physical aggression  with the sole aim of inflicting pain.
Wife battery is not just a crime, it is immoral, unethical and a clear breach of the fundamental right and the dignity of the abused.
Most women have experienced one form of physical battery or the other from their spouses. This violent act which could be psychological or physical assault by a man against his woman with the intention of controlling her by inflicting fear or pain on her is common amongst men who still believe that they have the right to rule and control women.
Although religion and culture recognize man as the head of the family this has been grossly misinterpreted and abused, as some men think that beating their wives or girlfriends at the slightest provocation is the best way to prove their superiority.
The big question now is “How can this social vice be prevented?”
Ladies need to be cautious of whom they date. A guy who has an uncontrollable temper and easily hits a lady at the slightest provocation has the tendency to batter a woman, so also is one whose sense of judgment is affected as a result of drunkenness. One who is addicted to illicit drug substances such as marijuana, or Indian hemp may also have the tendency of battering a woman.
Most women prefer to keep silent over this, just to keep their marriages and relationship going.
In recent times, this gender-based domestic violence has assumed an alarming dimension. Some victims who didn’t want their identity disclosed recounted their ordeals which include broken bones, miscarriage, permanent disability and death of loved ones. Police stations across the country are bothered with several reported cases of such violence.
Battery is an abuse of women that should be frowned at and discouraged, but unfortunately there are cases where it is regarded as a family matter to be handled internally, thereby leaving women with no choice but to erroneously accept it as part of marriage.
Economic hardship has also been cited as a major cause of domestic violence. A lot of men folk are finding it increasingly difficult to meet their financial obligations. This has led to the twin evil of frustration and violence, of course the end result -battering the ‘weaker sex’ around them to boost their ego.
A victim of domestic violence said she lost two pregnancies to regular beatings by her husband as a result of drunkenness.  Apart from drunkenness, transfer of aggression has been identified by psychologists as a major cause of battery.
To avoid battery Ladies should stop dating men who show traces of violence. This will save women from being victims of battery in marriage. It is better not to enter the relationship, especially when the lady has seen traces of violence in the man. You cannot afford to keep staying with a man that beats you always, one day, he may even kill you.
As stated earlier, drunkenness, smoking and drug addiction fuel battery directly or indirectly, so ladies should stay off guys who are addicted to these social vices.
Marriage and courtship are for companionship and love, and should be devoid of acts that inflict pain, which could be deadly and fatal.
If you are dating a guy who has a bad temper and hits you at the slightest provocation, or loses his sense of judgment as a result of drunkenness or influence of alcohol then consider quitting that abusive relationship. No excuse is good enough; don’t put your life in danger. Remember, it is only a woman that is alive that bears the title of ‘Mrs’. There is no justifiable reason whatsoever for any man to batter a woman. Any man that lays his hands on a woman with the sole aim of inflicting pain on her or to prove his superiority is a “weak man”.
Staying alive should be the utmost priority of a wife or even a girlfriend. Remember that marriage is for the living and not the dead.

Detecting Signs of Spouse Battery (Part 1)

"Abuse in a relationship or marriage can wreck you. If you are one of those in an offensive relationship there is need to know how to handle it or get out of it. Abuse is not always physical, it could be emotional or verbal. Being abused is simply to destroy your being and make mince meat of your confidence. So, how can you nip this menace in the bud?

1. Recognize Abuse
Some women accept verbal or emotional abuse if it is not accompanied by physical abuse. It is a pattern of behaviour that may include threats of humiliation, isolation, blame, actions to frighten or intimidate, deprivation, lying and even threats of harm. Abuse usually involves the misuse of power in an attempt to dominate and control. You must know when you are being abused by your spouse.

2. Discuss the issue with your partner
Without raising your voice or looking agitated; point out the elements of the relationship which concern you. Choose a time and a place conducive for a calm discussion. Be assertive in stating what you find unacceptable. Do not attempt to have this conversation in the middle of an argument.

3. Talk to a relative, a close friend or your Pastor/Imam
Secrecy is an unhealthy and often integral part of an abusive relationship. Even if your partner has threatened you not to speak out, refuse to be cowed into submission. Share your experience with a trusted friend, close relative or spiritual mentor.

4. You cannot force your partner to change
You can attempt to show your partner how damaging these behaviours are and how they are affecting you, and hope your partner will agree that you are being badly damaged. You can hope your partner will then make the decision to change. However, ultimately, you cannot force change. Remember that you cannot argue logically with an unreasonable person. An obsessive and compulsive abuser will hardly ever change. Where an abuser maintains a repeated, consistent and persistent pattern think seriously of taking a bow.

5. Set boundaries
Abuse, in general, is an issue of disrespect that usually involves trespass upon individual’s equality and freedom due to unclear or poorly-defined boundaries. If you are on the receiving end of abuse, it’s up to you to set up clear, reasonable boundaries for an honourable relationship and to consistently stick to them. Do not tolerate repeated offences longer than necessary.

6. Avoid provocative actions, utterances, and unnecessary argument
If you are working towards redeeming or salvaging your relationship/marriage, avoid actions and utterances that are unduly provocative. Some women are in the habit of disrespecting and verbally abusing their husbands. This is wrong and should be discouraged as it can easily elicit violent reactions from men with poor temperament. According to the Holy Book, “The start of an argument is like the first break in a dam, stop it before it goes any further”.

 7. Source your safety
It’s easy to think that your partner is in charge of your safety depending on his or her behaviour, but this is not true. You are the only one who can create safety for yourself. You do this by making choices. You have an innate instinct within yourself that allows you to make decisions which feel right for you, and which will keep you safe and happy.

While looking forward to the concluding part of this article, I leave you with these  ever green injunction “Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands love your wives and be not harsh against them.”

1 comment:

  1. Oga in all this I know several ladies that have reported the matter to the police only to be told that police does not get involved in domestic matters


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