Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: When Women Perpetrate Domestic Violence

When you here the term domestic violence, we likely picture a woman being battered and abused by an angry unreasonable husband or boyfriend. We have heard of husbands beating wives but have you ever heard of wives beating husbands. Probably not! But yes, it does happen and in fact exists.

Women seem to be doing virtually everything that men do these days and they seem to be doing it better than the men from being doctors to teachers, lawyers, scientist, policing and ironically also physically assaulting their partners.

Sometime this year it was reported that a wife beat her husband to death in Calabar. The late husband who was a lecturer suffered this fate in the hands of his wife all because he wanted the best for her and insisted that she furthered her education. Also there was the case of a woman who stabbed her ex-husband in Gusau with a knife which left him with deep cuts.

The trend has degenerated from husbands to in-laws. This week there was a report that a wife in Owerri hacked her mother in law to death over what she never disclosed. How bizarre can women get?

When imagined it funny but in reality it's not a funny matter. "I can't help but wonder what would lead a woman to vent out her anger in such a manner as to beating up her husband or even her in-laws. Though we know that sometimes in-laws could be a pain but then to the extent of hacking her to death! No that was way overboard" says MS Zainab Ibrahim, an Abuja based housewife.

Violence by women against men is rampant, but unreported in most cases. Women tend to be the ones who assault their spouses and of course no real man would want his image tarnished by accepting that his wife is assaulting him. He will definitely be ridiculed and most times not be believed. So most times he keeps mute about it.

Hajiya Ramatu Ahmed, a lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University says "most times society seems to be blind to the idea that women can be abusive and men are sometimes the victims. Most people believe that any woman who goes as far as abusing her husband surely must have been pushed into it by her husband. This he does by driving her mad with his behavior, which she must have been ignoring for a long while. Most of these women suffer from bi-polar disorders, their mood swings are always very extreme, their behaviors could also result to public embarrassment. But these days it's not like that as most reports we read are just of women who want to be bosses over their husbands and now in-laws"

Research has showed that the abuse of men by their female partners is a real family problem and a serious problem indeed. Men in families with abusive wives suffer all consequences that abused wives experience. Abusive wives make more use of weapons and other instrument than abusive husbands and the rate of women killing their husbands is high enough to demonstrate the destructive capacity of women in their families. These types of women normally play the triple role of terrorist, tyrant and the victim. The study concluded that the most unreported domestic violence isn't wife battery but husband bashing.

"It's callous for women liberators and NGO's to be quite about this as if itnever happened. If it were a man beating his wife the whole female NGOs would have gone gaggers. Domestic violence and systematic discrimination against anyone is wrong regardless of their gender" says Bashir Muktar a staff of the Ministry of Information.

The idea of women being violent is a hard assumption for many to believe, it definitely goes against the stereotype of the passive and helpless female. Roger Langley and Richard C. Levy in the book titled "wife beating; the silent crisis said "Husband abuse should not be viewed as merely the opposite side of the coin of wife abuse. Both are part of the same problem, which could be described as one person abusing another person. The problem must be faced and dealt with not in terms of sex but in terms of humanity".

According to Hakeem Hamza, an Entrepreneur, he says, "I never used to believe that there are wives who beat their husbands until I witnessed one. To my surprise the husband confided in me that that was what he has been experiencing since he married and pleaded with me not to relate it to anyone. I could imagine the kind of trauma he goes through with such a woman as a wife. Husband battering is for real but most men cannot open up because of shame and ridicule" he said.

We must note that our children are watching us and this single action can poison their minds, which in future grow up to perpetuate the same thing they saw when they were growing up. Bear it in mind that kids treat their fathers the way the mothers treat their husbands.

The almighty did not create women to trash the living hell out of husbands. Let us stop and think over our actions, how we intend to account for our stay here on earth when we face our creator. I conclude that husband or in-law bashing is thrash and should be discouraged and a stop put to it.

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