POOR REPORTAGE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN
From the international and local media one reads much attention is not given to domestic violence against men, while this is prevalent on daily basis. This study however is limited to cases of domestic violence in Nigeria. The article considers the concept of domestic violence incorporating the forms and causes of domestic violence. The implication and negative effects of this vice on different members of the society is highlighted in the study and poor media coverage of this social vices against men. The study concludes by suggesting possible remedies to the abnormality of domestic violence. It is hoped that this article will help in no small way to bring about a reduction in cases of domestic violence not only in Nigeria, but across the globe as this article is being read
- Background of the study
On a daily basis in the Nigerian society there is shocking news of domestic violence everywhere. If the news is not about the growing trend of “baby making factories” dotting the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, it may be about a husband killing the wife or wife killing the husband. Sometimes, it may be about a father violating his daughter by sexually abusing her. Nigerian women are beaten, raped and even murdered by members of their own family for a supposed transgression, and most Nigerian men are living as housekeeper in their own house, they suffer abused ill treatment and sometimes battered by their own spouse which little or no attention is directed towards that angle, which can range from not having meals ready on time to visiting family members without their wife’s permission. Some women even subject their husbands to acid attacks from their wifes or girlfriends which cause extreme pain or disfigurement, sometimes leading to the death of the victims. Domestic violence affects all social groups in the society and can consist of physical, sexual, emotional, economic and psychological abuse (America Psychiatric Association 2005, p. 1 and Oifig an Tánaiste, 1997, p. 141). Although men can also be victims of domestic violence (Denis 2014), women and children suffer it most. The prevalent culture of silence and stigmatization of victims of domestic violence hinders public acknowledgment of the problem. There is an urgent need to challenge the social prejudices and the institutional structures of the Nigerian society in order to protect women, not just from danger, but also from ridicule, fear and isolation. The Nigerian Government as well as Nigerian Christians should rise to the occasion and find ways to tackle the menace of domestic violence. Typically, the police have been reluctant to intervene in incidents involving domestic violence; they prefer to regard the family as a private realm. Erroneously, husband beating is considered a “private affair” of the home. Wife battering his husband “culturally” acceptable; it is considered as a “normal way of life” and even as a “sign of love” (Nwankwo, 2003, p. 5). In other African societies domestic violence is viewed as a private issue between spouses which does not call for legal intervention. Men continue to suffer in silence and even accept domestic violence in their marriages as part of their destiny (Curran and Bonthuys, 2004). This is rather unfortunate for such men to accept this cruelty as their destiny. The prevalence of violence in the society is huge; the prevalence of violence against women and girls, in particular, is very worrying – across the world but here in Nigeria it is a particular problem.
“A lot of that is violence within the family, people that they know and I think it is time to speak out, it is time to say: this has to stop and it is really important that men say that as well as women – so this isn’t a women’s issue, this is an issue about society. “The perpetrators of violence against men and boys are almost by definition women and I think that is something that women need to recognize and stand up and say this has got to stop.” therefore, government at all levels must also act quickly to stop domestic violence in whatever form. “It is a really important debate – a difficult debate. It cuts across boundaries of culture, ethnic groups. It is a debate that really has to be brought out in the open and discussed properly and then society, the government at all levels has to take action to stop it,” he stressed. Domestic violence is violence that is perpetrated by intimate partners and other family members, and that is manifested through physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, economic abuse, and acts of omission (UNICEF IRC, 2000). Domestic violence is therefore a mix of physical and coercive behaviors designed to manipulate and dominate another competent adult or adolescent (Kerr, Levine, & Woolard, 2007) to achieve compliance and dependence. The term intimate partner violence (IPV) is often used synonymously, other terms have included wife beating, wife battering, man beating, husband battering, relationship violence, domestic abuse, spousal abuse, and family violence with some legal jurisdictions having specific definitions (Campbell, 2002). This article will use the term male victims of domestic violence. Intimate partner violence is gender based and is a serious public health problem that cuts across nations, cultures, religion, and class (Ilika, Okonkwo, & Adogu, 2002; Olufunmilayo, Adedibu, & Adeniran, 2005). It is perpetrated by, and on, both men and women. It can occur in same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. Awareness and documentation of domestic violence differs from country to country. Estimates are that only about a third of cases of domestic violence are actually reported in the United States and the United Kingdom (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998). Lower number of reported cases will therefore not be surprising in less developed societies with less attention and less support. The under-reporting of domestic violence was opined by Watts and Zimmerman (2002) to be almost universal and may be due to the sensitive nature of the subject. Domestic violence against men is a term describing violence that is committed against men by the man’s intimate partner (Sugg, Thompson, Thompson, Majuro, & Rivara, 1999). It is a rare finding (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998). This rarity has relegated it to a level of minimal importance; hence Taft, Hegarty, and Flood (2001) in their review concluded that although male victims of domestic violence certainly exist, male victims of other forms of male violence are more prevalent. Taft et al. (2001) therefore suggested that a focus on gendered risk of violence in public health policy should target male-tomale public violence and male-to-female intimate partner abuse with no mention of female-to-male abuse. With the rise of the men’s movement, and particularly men’s rights, there is some advocacy for men as victims, indicating that their suggestion is not generally acceptable.
Though Stets and Straus (1990) posited in their 1985 survey that when violence is measured by acts, women are as violent as men but when violence is measured by injuries men are more violent, several authors have consistently reported higher prevalence figures of domestic violence against females as compared with males (Coker et al., 2002; Rennison, 2003; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). Most assaults are relatively minor and consist of pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, and hitting. The major assaults included rape (Tjaden & Theonnes; 2000) and homicide (Fox & Zawitz; 2004).Women in their 20s were more likely to aggress than women aged 30 years and more. In Nigeria, the reasons for domestic violence have been identified to include drunkenness, infidelity, and financial misappropriation (Ilika et al., 2002). Fiebert and Gonzalez (1997) in the United States reported that women appeared to aggress because they did not believe that their male victims would be injured or would retaliate and also wished to engage their attention, particularly emotionally. In Eastern Nigeria, cultural norms seem to favor domestic violence. Victims are less likely to report domestic violence to the police or open up to health care workers to avoid breaking traditional norms or incurring community sanctions (Ilika et al., 2002). Among the Ijaws in South Southern Nigeria where this study was conducted, marriages are contracted mainly by customary rites and can be dissolved by the community council of chiefs or customary court if there is a justifiable reason. Domestic violence against men is culturally regarded as a very serious offence. Instruments considered normal in exercising authority or discipline by a victim include abandonment, refusal of food cooked by the woman, denial or withholding of sex or money for food, and divorce. It also attracts punishment in the form of fines with public apology from the perpetrator which is enforced by the victims’ peers. Reporting to the hospital occurs in severe and recurring situations when the peers can no longer intervene and it is for the sole purpose of obtaining medical reports to seek legal redress against the perpetrators before the community chiefs’ council or customary/ magistrate court which ends with dissolution of the marriage in most cases. In domestic violence, man is culturally assumed as the aggressor and the victim a female. Current research provides little insight into the risks a man faces if he is assaulted by a woman in an intimate relationship. Family violence research has focused on the relative risks that men and women face and mask the high number of men at risk, because of the large number of women who are injured as a result of domestic violence. Our judicial systems are based on the premise that guilt follows the offender, not the offended.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Though Stets and Straus (1990) posited in their 1985 survey that when violence is measured by acts, women are as violent as men but when violence is measured by injuries men are more violent, several authors have consistently reported higher prevalence figures of domestic violence against females as compared with males (Coker et al., 2002; Rennison, 2003; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). Most assaults are relatively minor and consist of pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, and hitting. The major assaults included rape (Tjaden & Theonnes; 2000) and homicide (Fox & Zawitz; 2004).Women in their 20s were more likely to aggress than women aged 30 years and more. It is in view of this that the researcher decide to investigate audience perception of poor television patronage of domestic violence against men in Anambra state
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to investigate the perception of audience on poor television reportage of domestic violence against men in Anambra state. But to aid the completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following specific objectives;
- To ascertain the effect of poor television reportage of domestic violence against men
- To examine the role of the media in eradicating domestic violence in Anambra state
- To examine the impact of domestic violence reportage in combating this societal menace
- To examine the relationship between poor reportage of domestic violence against men and marital well-being of Anambra people
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study
H0: poor television reportage does not have any effect on the fight against domestic violence against men
H1: poor television reportage does have an effect on the fight against domestic violence against men
H0: the television media does not play any significant role in eradicating domestic violence in Anambra state
H2: the television media does play a significant role in eradicating domestic violence in Anambra state.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the management of TV stations both public and private to channel her energy in reporting the incidence of domestic violence against men in the state. The study will also be useful to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the study will serve as a spring box to further research. Finally, the study will be useful to students, teachers, lecturers, academia’s and the general public as the study will add to the pool of existing literature and contribute to knowledge on the subject matter.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study c overs audience perception of poor television reportage of domestic violence against men in Anambra state. But in the cause of the study, there were some factors which limited the scope of the study;
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Finance: the finances at the disposal of the researcher was very limited as such could not finance a broader scope of the study
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development, or deprivation
Domestic violence is violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.
Reportage is the reporting of news and other events of general interest for newspapers, television, and radio.
Television (TV) is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in colour, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program ("TV show"), or the medium of television transmission.
An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art, literature, theatre, music, video games, or academics in any medium
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
FOR COMPLETE PROJECT RESEARCH , CHAPTER 1-5, KINDLY CLICK.