Exploring Domestic Violence Beyond Gender Norms

The notion of domestic violence isn’t limited to females only, it extends to males also. Over the years, domestic violence has been a thing of concern to humanity at large. Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviour found in a relationship. 

In most relationships, it is used by one partner to gain or maintain authority and power. It is also an Intimate partner violence, often in marriages.

People feel it is domestic violence when it only involves physical harm. They are right, but it also includes emotional, psychological, financial and sexual.

Physically abusive behaviour includes stabbing, choking, or worse, murder. Psychological abuse has to do with using hurtful words to demean, criticize or threaten the victim.

Domestic violence victims

It can also lead to intimidating the victim into sexual practices against his or her will. Domestic violence has become a global phenomenon that not only affects the victims but also those around them.


Statistics show that it affects 3%-5% of adult relationships in the United States. About 25% of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals are victims of intimate partner abuse.

In a survey conducted by the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics in 2019, 30% of Nigerian women aged 15-49 have experienced emotional, economic or sexual abuse.

As of October 2923, Nigeria has witnessed a disturbing surge in reported cases of sexual and gender-based violence totalling 27,720 incidents.

A major cause of domestic violence is as a result of the quest for dominion and power. It is no longer news that men mostly want to be the dominant one in a relationship. While it is normal to act like the one in control, some, however, overdo things, thus leading to violence. 


They become so drunk with their potential and become abusive under the pretence of controlling or dominating. They become indeed by their thirst to be respected and worshipped and in the end, inflict physical harm on their partners.


It is common to hear people say, ‘This generation can’t endure what our mothers endured.’ We obviously can’t endure it because our mothers had no one to fight for them and they were ignorant of the fact that their rights as humans were being trampled upon.

In the olden days, women silently suffered domestic violence, thinking it was part of the lessons to learn in marriage. Some common misconceptions about domestic violence include:


  • Someone who abuses you once won’t repeat it, it was just a mistake.
  • Only adults are victims of domestic violence.
  • Battering is not a crime. Men have the right to control their wife’s behaviour and to discipline them.
  • Women are equally violent as men.
  • Battered women allow abuse to happen to them. They can leave if they want to.
  • Some women deserve violence.
  • Women must suffer what our mothers suffered in the olden days.

Furthermore, it is a known fact that Rome wasn’t built in a day, the same thing works for domestic abuse. There must have been warning signal red flags before fully escalating violence.

Initially, it may appear in the form of casual events, but in a closer look, it is not. Some common signs include extreme jealousy in the presence of relatives, friends or even colleagues at work.

It may also be preventing or discouraging you from spending time with family members or friends. Insults, or shaming in public is another sign to look out for.

Making decisions on your behalf, controlling the finances in the household, imposing uncomfortable sexual acts, pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol, threatening to take full responsibility for the kids, intimidating you with weapons, and destroying your belongings are all early signs of domestic violence.

Rather than remaining mute, speaking up should be the first thing to do after noticing the signs. It is the time to seek help to curb physical harm that could result in death. Early intervention prevents consequences.

Domestic violence is a serious public health issue that impacts survivors on a physical and mental scale. While the effects can be devastating, they are preventable.

The potential physical impacts of domestic violence are numerous. It ranges from heart issues to chronic pain, sexual or productive issues, traumatic brain injury, depression, PTSD, emotional imbalance, suicidal thoughts, isolation, anxiety, anti-social behavior and low self-esteem among other effects.

Leaving an abusive relationship could be difficult for victims. Victims often face numerous barriers that make it tough to leave an abusive relationship.

Understanding these challenges is crucial for developing effective support systems. Some of the victims fear increased violence or retaliation, if they attempt to leave. They feel perpetrators may use threats to maintain intimidation.

Moreover, victims of domestic violence need to heal before venturing into another relationship. Healing comes in many ways, but an advisable method of getting over the trauma of domestic violence is through therapy. 

Addressing domestic violence requires a multifaceted approach that not only supports victims but also seeks to rehabilitate and prevent further abusive behavior from perpetrators.

Providing counselling and therapy services tailored to the specific needs of perpetrators, and addressing issues such as anger management or substance abuse can be essential for rehabilitation.

Developing and implementing rehabilitation programs that address the root causes of abusive behavior is also necessary. These programs should focus on changing the mindset through counselling and therapy.

Conclusively, no one deserves to be in an abusive relationship. It only limits the victim’s potential. It is important to note that during an abusive relationship begins with speaking up. Dialogue is a means of scaling through domestic violence.

Community engagement plays a pivotal role in combating domestic violence by fostering awareness, support and active involvement, communities can contribute significantly to breaking the cycle of abuse.



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