Who is at Fault in a Case of Domestic Violence?

The White Ribbon Campaign Australia, defines domestic violence as violence, abuse and intimidation between people who are currently or have previously been in an intimate relationship. Many children, wives and even men suffer from violence. However, Traditionally and globally, domestic violence is committed mostly against women. Women tend to be victims of domestic violence not only in their homes but also workplace and society. It could even occur between lovers who are merely cohabiting.

Domestic violence takes different forms of physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, economic and religious abuse. Physical or sexual abuse are the most common type of abuse since they are easily recognizable. It is hurting or inflicting constant pain on a person which could be in form of beating, rape including marital rape and multilation. The perpetrator considers it as a medium of controlling or dominated the victim.

Most times, victims of this violence do not consider themselves victims of abuse. This is why more than 80 percent of domestic violence are left unreported. These victims are so accustomed to the abuse that they consider it a normal phenomenon, they believe the abuse is acceptable and justifiable.

It is complete balderdash to blame the victim of domestic violence. Not withstanding the circumstances that led to the violence, it is never enough justification for subjecting a person to pain. Nobody deserves to be maltreated, raped or ridiculed, not to talk of the psychological effect the violence leaves on its victims for the rest of their lives.

Some Victims especially women who have suffered from domestic violence for a long time tend to develop a mental illness called Stockholm's syndrome. They get comfortable in their situation that they develop psychological alliances with their abusers to the extent of justifying the abuse or identifying the abuser as a friend. To fully comprehend the Stockholm's syndrome, read up on the horrifying stories of Colleen Stan and Natascha kampusch.

I also once saw a scenario of a teenager who was molested by her stepfather, upon reporting to her mother,  she was asked to keep silent about the matter unless she wants to be rebuked by people for her promiscuity.  Most people would rather insult and blame the victims than rebuke the assailant. Little wonder why victims would rather suffer in silence than voice out.

Putting blame on the victim is condoning the evil act. Saying things like ' _she was raped because she was promiscuous_ ' is condoning the evil act. This type of mentality is one of the reasons why rapist can defend their actions and husbands can defend the spouse battery they commit against their wives. It is simply barbaric that legislations like Section 55(1)(d)  of the penal code which legalizes the act of a man beating his wife as a corrective measure still exists in Nigeria.

A victim should not be blamed for the perpetrator's folly. Domestic violence should under no circumstances be justified, the victim's pain cannot be excused by any explanation given for the assailant's actions!!!

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