Group Decries High Rate of Domestic Violence in Nigeria …Says substance abuse major cause

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A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Safenest, on Monday decried the high rate of domestic violence in Nigeria, linking it to abuse of harmful substances by spouses.

The Executive Director of the group, Mrs. Oluchukwu Chukwuenyem, stated this during a one-day seminar by the group on fostering better relationship among couples for proper child upbringing and better society.

Chukwuenyem said within the one year that the group came into existence, it has witnessed several cases of violence among couples to the level that it has become a regular happening in the society.

She linked the high rate of domestic violence to abuse of hard drug, alcohol and other illicit substances, which arises as a result of economic factor, stress, misunderstanding among several others.

According to her, "The rate of domestic violence in our society today is very high. Within the short period this organisation has been in existence, we have discovered that many families collapse due to minor and flimsy issues which ordinarily should not lead to family disunity if proper understanding is applied.

"The rate at which couple divorce in our society is alarming, and it is the children who suffer most in the situation because proper parental care, guidance and training would never be there again.

"Domestic violence in Igbo land is a problem as in many parts of
Nigeria. There is a deep cultural belief in Igbo land that it is socially acceptable to hit a woman to discipline her. This
victimisation affects people at all levels of economic status. However, indications of lower socioeconomic status such as unemployment, low income and abuse of illicit drugs have shown to be risk factors for higher levels of domestic violence in our society."

She said domestic violence was not only peculiar to women, but that cases abound where wives have abused their husbands, saying such cases have gone unreported because of the shame that goes with it.

The activist stated that most couples who have had issues, most of whom were at the event, have been rehabilitated by the group and once more, set on the path of marital bliss.

She commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for its fight against drug abuse in the state, saying the fight has helped to keep most marriages steady.

Highlight of the event was a contest between couples, which saw four of them winning gift items and cash rewards.


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