Contributed by Nicholine Akou

Domestic violence is a topic that can’t be avoided with respect to African societies where patriarchy is uphold to a higher esteem. Patriarchy involves men taking charge over political, moral, and even religious authority while women are completely shifted to the extreme. This is where the problem of domestic violence arises because men have the upper hand to marginalize women. Though men equally face domestic violence, it is to a lesser extent compared to the number of women statistics have proven to have been brutally abused by men. This is simply to say that in a societies where laws are not put in place to protect women, they are bound to be a lot of female victims. Nevertheless, domestic violence is caused by so many factors involving the few points mentioned below. 

Gender role: This is a vital cause of home violence because the consciousness of what is supposed to be done by a partner is neglected since he/she claims to be superior to the other partner. In most cases, men always see themselves to be superior to women, drawn from the hypothesis that, the bible says women should be submissive and this law is solely accepted in most African societies. With regards to this, some men turn to be very aggressive towards their spouses, beat them up when disagreements arise.

No punishment put in place: Abusers gain power to abuse their partners because there are no forms of punishment put in place for them. Most often, the abuser threatens the abused if she dares to report to the police. Sometimes the abused also feels reluctant and considers it useless reporting such things. For example, a lady once asked, “what’s the essence of reporting, when he will be released in the next minute and the insults, beatings, provocations will increase” there is no need. Therefore, without a serious punishment put in place, domestic violence is bound to occur.

Infantile experiences: It is certain that infantile experiences contribute greatly to domestic violence. The abuser might have probably grew up in a home where home abuse was a regular way to settle disputes. So, he adopts the same manner in his home as the best option to settle scores. For instance, I know of a couple with a five years old son who once praised the father for beating the mother for not feeding a dog. He rejoices and says the mother is a wicked woman based on the stories the father had been feeding him with, oh! What a wicked world. It is clear that, that child will eventually grow up and act like the father. So, there is 95% of chances that any child who grows up witnessing domestic violence from his/ her parents will likely act in the same manner.

Advice from friends: Sometimes, the abuser takes negative advice from friends and initiates in his home. When the friends share their views on how they successfully deal with their partners to suppress them, they decides to borrow such ideas and use them on their spouses. Hence, advice from friends is another cause of domestic violence.

Drugs and alcohol: Drugs and alcohol which can result from stress, poverty, low self-esteem, and other human related issues, can definitely root home violence. Some abusers become addicted to the level that they even start suffering from a mental break down giving them the upper hand to abuse their partners. Looking at drugs and alcohol, it is clear that they are equally a contributive factor to domestic violence.

The above points numerate some of the causes of domestic violence and there are a lot more. They are meant to keep you alert and conscious of the causes of what you or someone close to you might be going through. With this knowledge, you can know how to seek for solutions. Please do not forget to share your opinion in the comment section below and subscribe for more.

                                                                                     Edited by Emiliene Alemkeng