By Josephine Ogunoinbo
Domestic violence is a global issue with greater adverse effect on the women and their children, though few men experience same. It can be described as an act of gaining power, control or intimidating behaviour intentionally put up by a spouse against his or her partner.
Domestic violence comes in different forms which include, physical abuse, religious abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and economic abuse.
According to the Nigerian constitution, domestic violence is a criminal offence, though it was captured under different headings. For example, the UNICEF Report of 2005 stated that at least one in every three women globally has been beaten, forced into sex or abused in one way or the other, most especially by their husbands or those who know them, using it as a sanction or a form of discipline.
It is therefore necessary to examine the effect of domestic violence on family relationship.
Domestic violence negatively affects children’s upbringing , according to WHO reports , which stated that there is a link between having a history of childhood abuse and becoming victimiser later in life.
Children believe that what they see in their environment or things done by the people around them and what they see on regular basis are just and right, thus they learn this corresponding to the imitation or learning theory.
Children are supposed to be raised in a good, loving, caring, safe, and well disciplined environment. It will help them acquire the ability to withstand unavoidable challenges in the nearest future.
Domestic violence equally reduce family intimacy. It causes serious emotional worries to the couple and to other members of the family who experience or witness it. A home with domestic violence is harmful and insecure, it needs the help of external management like counsellors, spiritual leaders, respected persons, court and so on to control or stop the violence.
Domestic violence also affects how children relate with each other. Children raised in a home with domestic violence will find it difficult to make time and listen to each other, show appreciation, love and encourage one another.
Violence between parents is traumatic for children, as it would affect them physically and emotionally, thereby hindering their concentration in school and also affects the parents productivity at work.
Researchers have revealed that children who witness violence between their parents might bedwet or have nightmares, and are often tend to do something dangerous or harmful .
They will feel unsecured in their environment ,and also find it difficult to trust anyone, because they are liable to be victims of violence or child abuse. This makes them to isolate themselves from their friends and family members.
It is therefore necessary for parent in particular to desist from domestic violence while government, human right activists and other stakeholders should put in place measures that would help reduce domestic violence, because its impact is not beneficial to families , relationships and the society.