Domestic violence and it effect on national security which is any act of gender-based violence that results in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women has been very prevalent in Nigeria. It has been characterized as the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in the world. This study explored the public perception of violence against women in urban and rural areas in Nigeria. The population of this study was derived from the ministry of women affairs, in which 200 women were randomly selected as the population of the study, and questionnaire was the instrument of data collection which was duly administered. Analysis was based on simple percentage and hypothesis tested using the chi-square statistics
The menace of domestic violence on national security can never be over emphasis seeing to the fact that it’s a pattern of abusive behavior in a relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner (Office on Violence against Women 2015). An intimate partner may be a current or former married spouse, common-law or civil union spouse, domestic partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, dating partner, or ongoing sexual partner (Breiding, 2014). Violence against women is widespread in the world. This is a burning issue of human rights often swept under the carpet as if it does not matter, especially in Africa and particularly in Nigeria. This is not limited to physical violence. There is also sexual, psychological, economic and political abuses women suffer at home, on the streets, in the workplace and in the political arena. It is worse in conflict situations or even under peace-keeping situations as women are often raped on a massive scale and later left to bear the child alone and care for the child without any assistance from the ‘unknown soldier’ or the state. Thus, such women are left to grind in poverty and the cycle of poverty most times, remains unbroken for generations (Ayeni and Ajibogun, 2013). Violence against women is a major threat to social and economic development. This was recognized in the Millennium Declaration of September 2000, in which the General Assembly of the United Nations resolved “to combat all forms of violence against women and to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women”(United Nations, 2005). Such violence has serious implications for peace and security of any nation because they are intimately related with complex social conditions such as poverty, lack of education, gender inequality, child mortality, maternal ill-health, and human immunodeficiency virus syndrome (HIV/AIDS). The United Nation defines violence against women as any act of assault that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or private life (United Nations, 1993). Physical violence occurs when a woman is: slapped, or had something thrown at her; pushed, shoved, or had her hair pulled; hit with a fist or something else that could hurt; choked or burnt; threatened with or had a weapon used against her. Sexual violence means a woman has been: physically forced to have sexual intercourse; had sexual intercourse because she was afraid of what her partner might do; or forced to do something sexual she found degrading or humiliating. Though recognized as a serious and pervasive problem, emotional violence does not yet have a widely accepted definition, but includes, for example, being humiliated or belittled; being scared or intimidated purposefully. Intimate-partner violence (also called “domestic” violence) means a woman has encountered any of the above types of violence, at the hands of an intimate partner or ex-partner. This tends to be one of the most common and universal forms of violence experienced by women. In Nigeria, violence against women is a prevalent harm to peace and security because it undermines the basic rights, freedoms, health and welfare of women and national development. It occurs in many settings and at many hands, including those of relatives, acquaintances, employers, insurgents and the state. Eze-Anaba (2010) observes that most forms of violence directed specifically against women in Nigeria seem to be met with silence not only by the state but also by much of the human rights community. Incidents of violence in Nigeria which negate peace and security include battery, beatings, torture, acid baths, rape, kidnapping, and even death through honor killing. It is estimated that one in every three women suffers domestic violence from the hands of those who claim to love and protect them (Hamm, 2000). However, many of the victims do not speak out about violations of their rights due to lack of positive response from the society. Hence, domestic violence is so entrenched in the society that even the victims condone such violations of their rights with some claiming it is a sign of love (Bill, 2003). Furthermore, due to poverty, fear and economic dependence on men, many victims suffer in silence for fear of losing the economic support of the male “perpetrator”. Amnesty International (2005) thus observes that where a victim summons the courage to report to law enforcement agents, the issue is trivialized and termed a “private matter”. Violence against women occurs in all social and economic classes. But, women living in poverty are more likely to experience violence especially as it constitutes a threat to health. As a result of violence or a fear of violence, most Nigerian women are unable to protect themselves from infection and to access HIV/AIDS services. Although Nigeria has ratified international and regional human rights treaties providing for women’s rights to protection against such violence and women’s rights to health, unchecked domestic violence and lack of access for women to HIV/AIDS services are indications that the government is failing to meet its responsibilities. In addition to women’s greater physiological susceptibility, social, cultural, and legal forms of discrimination compound their vulnerability to HIV
Moreover, national security is commonly used to mean safety from danger and protection from internal, external attack or infiltration. This usage is tied on the apron string of defense and security forces. The cold war era gave the highest currency to the conventional security doctrine that rested on the assumption that only a strong military can effectively deter attacks and threats of force (Chris, 1997). On the contrary, John (1991) conceives security in terms of arms, armament and military personnel. He posits that security is the „relative freedom from harmful threat‟. In the post-cold war period, the concept of security has attracted a new thinking by contemporary scholars who condemned the militaristic thought of security insisting on the concepts of rehabilitation, transformation and expansion. (Booth, 1991) observed that „one of the themes of new thinking is the idea that security policy should have political accommodation as a primary aim, the adverse effects of identifying security almost exclusively with military strength was evident throughout the cold war.
The problem of domestic violence in Nigerian society has become apparent over political and economic control of political positions and resources and these have a negative effect on national peace and security. In spite of the sanitization by government and local and international non governmental agencies against domestic violence more is expected to be done to assess the effect of domestic violence on national security.
Based on the aforementioned, problem of this study is to make assessment of domestic violence and national security.
The main study of the study is to investigate the effect of domestic violence on national security. Specifically, the study aimed at the following objectives:
The research questions for the study were formulated as follows;
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The Study is significant in a number of ways. First, the study encourage citizens to admit the fact that when they get involve in domestic violence, this result in numerous number of crime related issues in the society.
The study draws government, private individual and cooperate bodies to accept the fact that violence from home has a proportional effect on national security issues.
1.7 Delimitation of the study
This study was delimitated to the effect of domestic violence and national security using Uyo local government area as study focus.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
It was also difficult to gather materials especially relevant and current information related to the study variables, since the study is not common. This caused scarcity of relevant research materials from local journals, the researcher had to rely greatly on the foreign materials in order to put up this work.
Another difficulty faced was limited time given to researcher to complete the study. Limited fund was also a constraint to this work.
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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