Interrogating the socio-legal concept on domestic violence against men in Nigeria: The need for progressive approaches

By Godfree Matthew Esq.

African societies are generally considered as patriarchal in nature. This presupposes that men usually exercise dominance over women in such societies. In Nigeria, male dominance is adjudged to be a normal way of life that accords with African value-systems. This perception is further accentuated by the influence of culture and religion which view women as weaker and lesser beings while men are perceived as superior. Thus, in exercising dominance over women, men often employed the use of force. However, current social dynamics are contradicting this age-long tradition. Modern social dynamics reveal that women are now dominating the men in Nigeria. As such, men are losing their hitherto claim of dominance and so-called honour in Nigeria in terms of the use of force. It is against this background that this article derives its inspiration. This article aims to show that men in Nigeria are currently experiencing domestic violence perpetrated by women. This work further establishes that the concept of domestic violence extends beyond acts perpetrated by spouses alone. It also establishes the roles of third parties in domestic violence, thereby expanding the scope of domestic violence as acts solely exhibited between spouses. This work uses doctrinal research including statutes, books, journals, periodicals, newspapers, statistics and other related sources of information to formulate its informed perspective. The work concludes by recommending the need for specific legislation to address violence against men in Nigeria. It also recommends the inclusion of harsh experiences men encounter at social centers like prisons, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and schools, as ‘domestic violence’ too.

Click here to read the full article.