Domestic violence is not only physical violence, it is a behaviour geared towards gaining power and control over a spouse or partner.
Domestic violence is based on power and control. If one partner feels the need to dominate the other, it is more likely the relationship will turn violent. The abuser feels the need to exert complete control over his partner.
Many women have been victims of physical, emotional and sexual violence in their marriages.
Marriage is seen to give the husband full ownership of the woman, so she surrenders her right and her body to him. It is also believed that men must be strong and powerful as a result of gender inequality.
Violence can be caused by childhood experience. It is possible an abuser may have witnessed domestic violence during his childhood and understood violence to be a way to maintain control within a family.
Financial difficulties can increase stress level at home which can also lead to violence. Couples can constantly involve in arguments and fights resulting from job lose or debt.
Also, infertility has been another cause of domestic violence whereby women suffer physical and mental oppression both from their husbands and their relatives.
In the same vein, jealousy is one of the causes of violence in homes where one is overly protective over the other. As a result the abuser might restrict the spouse's movement and her choice of friends.
Meanwhile, violence has caused lots of damages on its victims. Women who are victimized by violence suffer from physical, mental, emotional and spiritual trauma.
Victims have physical health injuries and problems which may not get medically treated. This can also result from the use of alcohol and other drugs to deal with the pain.
These women also have suicidal thoughts and attempts caused by depression, anger and shame, feeling of unworthiness.
Reports have also shown that domestic violence is the leading cause of death, illness and disability for women.
Children are not left out of the drastic effects of domestic violence. Children who witness domestic violence at home are at risk for emotional behavioural problems.
They suffer academically and feel depressed, worst of all, they become fearful. And while some of them find it difficult to engage in intimate relationships, others grow with the belief that violence is the only measure to maintain control in the family.
Therefore, children and young people need to grow up in a secure and nurturing environment. And home that domestic or family violence exists is not safe or secure because children are scared about what might happen to them and the people they love.
Domestic violence should not be seen as relationship issue, but as a crime, therefore, Nigerian government should take legal proceedings to prosecute men who abuse women in every States. Penalties for domestic violence should be made firm.
NGO's should have sessions that will teach people how to deal with and manage issues of domestic violence as well as helping the victims to build self-esteem and self confidence.
Lastly, children should be taught how men should treat women and the appropriate way to suitably express their emotions.