Dr. Immaculata Nwonu-Ezeanya, Clinical Psychologist, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba, Lagos, has said poor parenting is fuelling a rise in domestic violence, also referred to as gender-based violence. The Clinical Psychologist stated this in an exclusive interview with The Catholic Herald Weekly on Tuesday. She said, “The menace of domestic violence cannot be put squarely on the shoulder of the economy or society, these perhaps maybe contributory factors. We have lost our values.
Poor parenting is a major factor. As the poorly parented children of yesteryears are now parents of today. Children learn by observation, intimidation and modeling. Children with abusive parents grow with the notion that violence is the best way of life because these were their role models. “Secondly and perhaps, some of these abusers were themselves abused and traumatic life events have helped in changing their personality and they may have developed this psychopathic behaviour.
“Now, coming to the economy, the average family income and source of wealth is shrinking, this puts a lot of strain on many relationships. People who have low threshold for anger, will definitely act out and not knowing how to channel this anger or pain into productive use. They will constantly produce friction in the relationship. “Furthermore, in most cases, men are usually more financially capable than the women and some of these abused women are dependent on these men to provide for them.”
According to her the incidence of domestic violence intensified with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. From several indications, lockdowns and other mobility restrictions left many women trapped with their abusers. Nwonu-Ezeanya stressed, “Cases of domestic violence in the country took an ascendant swing, especially the physical aspect during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was because many people were forced to stay at home and some lost their jobs and did not have any other means of escape, hence they were stuck with their partners.” Speaking further, Nwonu-Ezeanya stated that domestic violence is widespread, deeply ingrained and has serious impacts on women’s health and well-being. “The health implication of domestic violence on the victim goes beyond the immediate physical injuries they suffer at the hands of their abusers. The health implications range from mental, physical, sexual and behavioural effects. “Being in an abusive relationship is detrimental to the individual’s overall emotional and mental health. The emotional and mental effects of domestic violence range from depression, sleeping and eating disorders, stress and anxiety disorder, self-harm, suicidal ideation/attempt and poor self-esteem.”