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Can men be abused in their homes?

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MOSTLY, women fall victims of domestic violence even as they show their spouse, the best of them. These days, women don’t usually fall victim of it alone today but men or husbands do too.

  Domestic violence in Nigeria is a problem as in many parts of Africa. Today you hear stories of men being bathed with acid or poisoned by their wives. It is becoming rampant and is not showing any sign of lessening in Nigeria.  It happens to men from all cultures and all walks of life regardless of age or occupation. Figures suggest that as many as one in three victims of domestic violence are male.

  However, men are often reluctant to report domestic abuses because they consider it not just embarrassing but also shameful, and fear they won’t be believed, or for fear of possible revenage by partner. An abusive partner may hit, kick, bite, punch, spit, throw things, or destroy possessions only to get at her husband over one misunderstanding or the other. To make up for any difference in strength, they may attack the man while asleep or otherwise take him by surprise. They may also use a weapon, like knife or stick to strike, abuse or threaten his children as well.

   Moreover, men experience domestic violence in so many other ways like calling of names, insults or putting the man down, preventing him from going to work, business place or even to school, stopping him from seeing his family members or friends, regulating him on how he spends his money, his movement or what to wear, or not, being jealous or possessive or constantly accusing him of being unfaithful, getting angry when he drinks alcohol, tries to control him on when to see a health care provider based on his health,  forces him to have sex or engage in sexual acts against his will, blaming him for his or her violent behaviour or telling him that he deserves it as well as threatens to tell friends, family, colleagues or community members about his sexual orientation or gender identity.

  Furthermore, research has it that in Nigeria, there has been controversy on whether violence against men perpetrated by women has been on the rise or not and whether the table has completely turned endangering the lives of the male gender. While most citizens agree that it has been on a tremendous rise, some still do not accept that with the notion that “Men are and will always be stronger than women”. Therefore, violence against men is sadly not a reality in Nigeria. Be that as it may, the baton of battering has changed from men to women using the current violence cases in homes involving two Nigerian women whose disagreements led to extreme use of weapon that resulted in their husband’s death. The following are women recorded to have committed such crime; Yewande Oyediran stabbed her husband on the neck on February 2, 2016, resulting to his death. She was convicted of manslaughter while Maryam Sanda also stabbed her husband to death while he was asleep.

   The above mentioned incidents indicate that domestic violence involving women as the perpetrators now seem to be on the rise. However, the continued prevalence of violence in homes shows that this global and alarming issue is yet to be tackled with all the necessary political commitment, actions from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), government itself and even family interventions.

  Speaking to National Light on what could be the reasons women beat up their husband’s’, Chidiebere Echewodo, a minister of the gospel and a philosopher, stated that women indulge in such actions due to “insecurity and inferiority complex, lack of healthy communication between the two couples, frustration, resulting from lack of love and attention, when she must have been pushed to the wall, if she becomes suspicious and in high temperament because they can be emotionally and easily hurt”.

    Echewodo revealed that when such begins to happen to a man, he will start losing peace and sanity gradually. And “he will start showcasing withdrawal syndrome from home, from wife and even kids. It will also expose the man to late keeping to avoid conflict or any kind of violence from his wife at home”.

  “Violence against the husband creeps in hatred and bitterness on the both couple which would definitely result to a broken home. Mind you, a man who is easily angered and depressed can lash out on his kids, making children run away from their father. There will be total lack of communication at home as everyone bears grudges. In fact, there are other implications but to mention a few. Violence is one of the major contributing factors to broken homes,” he noted.

  “Couples should learn how to communicate well to each other, share feelings at all times with tenderness and love, imbibe mutual respect for each other for peace to reign. Couples should also be able to discover their weaknesses and be able to help each other to work on them. Always create out time to spend with each other by hanging out together. Learn to appreciate one another with gifts, encourage and complement each other. Most of all, they should cultivate the habit of eating together, watch movies and share secrets. By so doing, there will be strong intimacy between the two,” he suggested.

   Chidozie Obijiaku said that,” some women get up, mess themselves up with men thinking that’s what makes them women. They conclude to themselves that they have arrived in the world of womanhood and by extension of wives and motherhood. On the contrary, there are women who don’t even know what it means to be a woman or wife. Such kinds of women don’t know how to handle certain issues or problems with their spouses. They don’t know what it takes to be wives; refusing to humble themselves and imbibe virtues of good women. Some don’t even have good homes and so finds it very difficult to run good homes either”.

  Ernest Nwadigo, a psychologist, spoke more on prestige on the side of men in the society and if there is any law protecting men from being abused or violated in any way. He explained, “We live in a patriarchal society where men are expected to be physically stronger than women and hold the power in their homes. Therefore, it is culturally regarded as shameful to know that a woman beats a man and that a man will hardly ever be bold to say, ‘my wife or my girlfriend is assaulting me.

  “Moreover, in African setting, men are known to keep their feelings and whatever they are going through. Therefore, they hide the violence and are always strong and silent about it. A lot of men today are not free to express themselves or speak up when an issue is going on in their homes. Whereas women can shout it out and receive immediate help. These male victims often pretend that all is well when their wives are violating their rights at home”.

  Nwadigo further stressed that “men may not even tell their closest friend what they are passing through in their marriages till the violence leads to death as in the case of Maryam Sanda whose husband (Bilyamin) received several death threats from his wife but he never spoke about until his wife finally murdered him. As far as I am concerned, there is no law protecting men from such atrocities and I wish there will be any. But the problem is, who amongst them will open up to you? Men are egoistic in nature. They would rather prefer to go to the grave with their weaknesses. And that is why they die more easily than women”.

  “Such violence tears them apart because it creates anxiety and depression, fear, post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as feeling on-edge, and being unable to relax”. Thus, he advised men to always “speak up whenever they are encountering such challenges, otherwise it could and will always take them to their early graves. Government and NGOs should on the other hand,put men into consideration and be able to create more awareness on such issues, create laws that will protect men who suffer abuse”, he stated.

  Pamela Uketui Nwankwo said,” a godly woman should fight her husband whether physically or with words”.

  Rose Odogwu, a sociologist, said the case of women beating their husband(s) was not a routine thing but out of 100, only five per cent occur. “Unlike the other way round where in 100, 75 women experience such violence or abuse. With this, you can see some women are really passing through hell in the hands of these men who call themselves husbands to them. Some of these men don’t even know what it takes to be a husband. It’s just that women in their nature will always want or like to bear a man’s name all in the name of marriage. Only few of them remains unmarried ( that is the Reverend Sisters). What have women done to deserve beating or humiliation in the hands of men? Have one quarter of women done to their husbands half of what men have done to them? No! Men have subjected some women to slavery at home and have exposed them to hard labour and violence. They have expose women to sexual assault, humiliation, torture and to other kinds of abuse.

   “Before a woman complains to someone of being beaten and abused, it must have gotten out of hand. Women endure a lot even more than men themselves. Quote me anywhere, anytime. Before you see any woman raise her hand on her husband, know it that she has endured for too long and has no option than to retaliate. This means before she can do this, she must have thought of it, digested it, including what will be the outcome and otherwise. Sometimes, they don’t beat their husbands because they chose to but maybe as self defense. Some do it to retaliate while others do it to pay back evil for evil.

  “You know this marriage of a thing most often position women before their husbands as if they are worth nothing; I mean in physical combat. Most of them are even  stronger than what you may think but because you have called it marriage, they may decide to let go of so many things.

  “Men should desist from handling their wives as rags or toys they can play with. They should as well stop using women as punching bags to avoid seeing the  other side of them. Women deserve respect just like they do. Women deserve to be cared and pampered just like they want it. Women need protection and love just as they ( men) need it. It’s reciprocal. Women need men who will talk to them with mild voices and what have you. Days are gone when you do things and get away with it easily as long as there is law”, she stated.

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