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Monday, January 22, 2018

Intimate Partner Abuse: Wife Beating among Civil Servants in Ibadan, Nigeria

The article Intimate Partner Abuse: Wife Beating among Civil Servants in Ibadan, Nigeria by Olufunmilayo I Fawole, Adedibu L Aderonmu and Adeniran O Fawole explore the idea of partner abuse, specifically wife-beating. The authors remark that despite this being a common phenomenon, it is underreported, notably among the working class. the authors conducted a study in which 431 civil servants working for the Oyo State government were interviewed. Their research made several conclusions: women who are unmarried, young, parents who fought were more likely to be beaten; mean who with significant consumption of alcohol and growing up with parents who fought were also more likely to beat their wives/ partners; despite being in the abusive relationship, some women remain for the sake of their children, or in hope that their partner's attitude will improve. 

The authors describe the various forms of intimate partner abuse: psychological, physical and/ or sexual coercion and ranges from hitting, slapping, kicking, beating to intimidating and humiliating. They discuss the role of societal norms and gender-role expectations as key factors that lead to intimate partner abuse. The expectations that men are the bread-winners of the family places them in a hierarchical and superior position in the family. This position allows them to continue the abuse; the women are not in a place to object. Traditionally, they are expected to remain at home and take care of the children; their relationship with their male partners is one of and obedience. The authors emphasize that despite intimate partner abuse being a very common practice in all countries regardless of social, economic, religious or cultural differences, it is still accepted and tolerated. Domestic violence can lead to health-related effects for women; for instance, illness related to sexual and reproductive health, physical injury, psychological trauma, and risk of illness in the future. But its is still underreported. Women are less inclined to disclose their experience of being abused. This is primarily due to it being seen as form of discipline; thus, it is normalized in society. 

Often times, victims may not speak out against abuse due to lack of resources, and support system as well as a lack of education and an understanding that abuse is wrong. The study conducted in this article hoped to create an advocacy tool and guide for state to implement better policies that can help de-normalize gender-based violence. It also aimed to lead development in treatment, counselling and support services. 

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