How to prevent domestic violence

Domestic violence does not necessarily have to be a physical violence alone before it can be termed domestic violence. It is a pattern of learned behavior, the purpose of which is to gain power and control over a spouse, partner, girlfriend/boyfriend or an intimate family member.

Domestic violence is a big issue in Nigeria, eating deeply into the fabric of our nation’s solidarity.The effect of this menace can be seen in the high rate of divorce cases that have sprung out of our society for years. Battering, assault, pushing, cutting, burning, injuries, biting, slapping, punching, choking, shearing, pulling by the hair and pouring of acid are part of the physical violence involved.

Violence against women and girls is one of the most terrible acts of the power imbalance between men and women in Nigeria.Domestic violence is not exclusive to Nigeria as a study by the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that battery is the most common source of injury among American women. Violence Against Women that was released in June 2013 indicated that in some regions of the world, over 35% of women suffer from partner violence – according to WHO.

We resorted to curing this menace but with our results so far, it has taken us near to nowhere; this is a strong indication that to prevent this menace is better than seeking a solution. This HowTos is written to help list out preventive measures that are meant to aid in the prevention of domestic abuse.

Here are 25 ways to prevent Domestic Violence:

  • Work for full equity between men and women in the society and in personal relationship
  • Examine the ways in which we legitimize male violence
  • Be a role model for healthy relationship
  • Unplug yourself and your children from violent media
  • Promote positive sports etiquette, hire coaches committed to non-violence
  • Teach children how to settle conflicts and differences peacefully
  • Recognize that verbal and emotional cruelty is also violence
  • Understand that love does not involve control or ownership
  • Teach boys and girls about an effective, respectful ways to express frustrations, sadness, and anger
  • Be a nurturing, loving and caring role model
  • Do not belittle, humiliate, hit or otherwise hurt little children
  • Ask local and elected officials to take a stand for healthy relationships and peaceful families
  • Teach your sons and daughters that respect is just a minimum
  • Respect and accept “No” when a child says it to you
  • Never excuse behavior by saying “Boys will be boys”
  • Confront Homophobia
  • Confront sexism
  • Do not belittle, humiliate, hit or otherwise hurt adults
  • Teach boys and girls to communicate clearly in a relationship and to accept a “No” as a “No”
  • Understand that what it means “to be a man” is defined by the society
  • Recognize that availability of guns and weapons increases lethal violence
  • Support the work of your local domestic violence program
  • Praise gentle boys and strong girls
  • Appreciate gentlemen as the strong men they are
  • Live by the principle that love is respect

Inculcating the above into the subconscious of both ourselves and our young goes a long way in transforming our mindset towards relationships and thereby prevents the occurrence of domestic violence.

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