Domestic abuse amongst Africans

4 Min Read

September 7, 2012 By specialguest

Mary Ajoke Akangbe

My experience cuts across cultural belief from an African perspective of marriage and relates the role of the woman and that of the alpha male within it.

For this reason, a staggering number of African women, highly successful and educated as well as from low socio-economic groups suffer in silence. According to a survey by (WHO), some even believe it is alright for a man to hit a woman ‘when necessary’

Domestic abuse and violence is a problem worldwide, and particularly endemic in our communities. Little or no attention have however been given to awareness and education regarding this crime or available help and support.

Domestic abuse, sometimes referred to as spousal abuse  occur  when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. It could be emotional, financial or threat of physical violence.

Domestic violence or family violence is defined as a pattern of violent and abusive behaviours by one partner against another in a relationship such as marriage, dating or cohabitation and has profound consequences for the lives of children, individuals, families and communities. Domestic violence can be physical or sexual.

Abusers are very clever, they will often hit victims in areas that are not visible, like the thigh or back. It doe increase in severity over time as the perpetrator becomes more confident that they will get away with it. A woman may have been experiencing domestic abuse and violence for years before a scar ,wound or bruise is visible.

Speaking Up; the more I spoke about the abuse, the more confident and proactive I become about dealing with it. You can speak to your family doctor, a trusted friend or family member .There is a list of organisations on the internet that provides help, support and accommodation .Calls are confidential and help can be tailor-made to suit your circumstances.

*If you are in immediate danger, dial 999’*

If anyone experiencing domestic abuse and violence confides in you, please try not to be judgemental, but reassure them that you are there for them.

‘The scars of domestic abuse runs deep and the impact can be lifelong’.

Remember domestic abuse and violence is not your fault, it can happen to anyone at any time, so you don’t have to suffer in silence.

There are 28million battered women in the United States alone, 10-59 per cent of women worldwide stated that they have been physically assaulted by their intimate partners at some point.

Men can be victims too, but statistics are that  95 percent of women are victims and  1percent of the cases are the reverse. Most importantly education, awareness and collaboration with various organisations and communities are important to bringing Domestic abuse and violence to an end in our communities.

Till next time, be good to yourself.

Mary is an Author, Mentor and Mother of 2.She is the CEO/Founder of Glowing Future-supporting victims and empowering survivors of Domestic Abuse and Violence.

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