“I had couple as tenant some years back and the wife used to beat the husband. The wife never abused the man during the day but at night when everyone is in their apartment. It went on for about two years before I sent them packing because other tenants and I were always setting quarrels between them.”
The above were the words of a 72-year-old man in Akure who doesn’t wants his name mentioned while commenting on the topic.
It is important to know what Gender Based Violence is all about before delving into the matter.
According to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Gender Based Violence (GBV) is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic or national boundaries. Worldwide, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Gender-based violence undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence.
GBV refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms.
GBV is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue. It is estimated that one in three women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. During displacement and times of crisis, the threat of GBV significantly increases for women and girls.
Gender-based violence is preventable and UNHCR is committed to promoting gender equality and human rights and to protecting refugees and other persons of concern from GBV.
Gender-based violence can include sexual, physical, mental and economic harm inflicted in public or in private. It also includes threats of violence, coercion and manipulation. This can take many forms such as intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour crimes’.
The consequences of gender-based violence are devastating and can have life-long repercussions for survivors. It can even lead to death.
Speaking with The Hope, a Civil Servant, Mr Damilola Akinbuwa said that it is important that the man speak out when he is being abused stating that he can approach the wife’s family in to have the woman protected from the public.
“Most times, when a man is irresponsible, the woman that is the wife can abuse him especially in the area of inflicting injury on him. There are cases where the woman is the breadwinner and as such use the opportunity to get back at the man. Even though 60 percent of marital crisis is caused by women, women on the other hand tend to have their husbands abused in retaliation but when thus happens, the man must speak out and not in a violent manner.”
A Contractor who craved anonymity said; “There are cases of men being abused but just that they are given little or no publicity and besides, the law is in favour of the female gender.
“When the situation is getting out of hand, the man should speak out. There should be somebody who can caution the woman. It is also good that the opinion of the wife counts in marriage in order not to give room to abuse. If her opinion isn’t relevant, the man should let her know the reason they both can’t embrace the opinion.”
A worker in a private establishment, Mr Jimoh Segun said that most women who abuse their men work on the men’s esteem stating that it is worst.
“90 percent of women inflict mental and verbal abuse on men and thus is worst than physical abuse. Some women make use of body language, giving the men attitude because they feel that men should know their mind.
“The way out is for men in this category to opt for counselling especially with God-fearing religious leaders. It is good that men speak out but they should not involve their extended families. When a man isn’t financially bouyant, he can be abused.
“There is such case in my neighborhood and we have been advising the man to cry out to respective authority as it is becoming a reoccurrence. The woman is always mounting pressure on the man for not meeting up her demands but to be candid, the man has been putting in his best for his family.
“The man should speak out if he loves his home and also for the safety of his health.”
A Mechanical Engineer, Mr Deji Ayeleso said that the man should be bold enough to speak out in order to live long.
According to him, a woman who abuses her man is ill mannered noting that any woman who tries it with her will be dealt with.
He said; “If my wife should make such move, she will spend few years in her parents’ house before attending to move to reconcile us. In this type of situation, it is either the woman isn’t properly trained or she grew up under such circumstance.”
A business woman, Mrs Aina Odunayo described shame as a criterion for men not speaking about it noting that it is important they do so as to give others the courage to speak too when they face such situation.
A fashion designer, Mrs Anthony Yetunde who said that it is good that some men are taught some lessons to put them back on the right path called for abused men to speak out in order to prevent premature death.
Assistant Deputy Director, Women Affairs Department on Gender Violence of the Ondo State Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Yemisi Taiwo attributed men’s ego as one of the criteria preventing men from talking about violence against them especially by their wives.
She said; “No man can come out to tell the public that his wife abuses him thus they tend to accommodate what they are passing through.
“Most of them feel that the society will look down on them as if they are not capable. The fear of the society alone makes them keep mute about it.
“The men are disturbed with the fact that they won’t get justice but this isn’t true. In recent times, most men who get across to us get justice as we don’t only deal with women affairs, we also deal with men affairs.
“When we have men cases, we take them up effectively but the only thing that can make us take side with the woman is if the man beats the woman. It is now a law in Nigeria. Most men that have been coming here have been getting justice and they have been commending us for that.
“Men also tend to endure the pain because of their children as they don’t want them to be humiliated. They aren’t helping issue. If the man isn’t financially bouyant, he won’t be able to speak out as he may be scared of the outcome hence he prefers to die in silence.”
A lawyer who doesn’t want his name in print noted that a man’s life is at stake if he doesn’t speak out.
“The society doesn’t believe that men are also abused. The general conception is that men are of the stronger sex and therefore, they cannot be abused but experience has shown that men are actually abused and some have paid the sacrifice. A case if a Nigerian residence in Canada whose wife killed and his penis cut off.
“Also, there was a case of the former National PDP chairman whose wife also stabbed to death in Abuja and several others like that. Therefore, there us the need for them to speak out although the law doesn’t adequately protect men when it comes to domestic violence, the VAPP law actually protect women while men are left behind but men should still speak out when abused.
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