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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN OBSERVED ON NOVEMBER 25, 2011

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary definition, domestic violence is the inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another and also, a repeated or habitual pattern of such behaviour, wife abuse, wife beating, and battering.
As the Rivers State Coordinator of a gender based non-governmental, non-profit, Interfaith Organization, WOMEN IN THE NEW NIGERIA(WINN) Empowerment and Positive Change, I deem it necessary to call for the end of violence against Women.
There is acknowledgement that many victims are not actually married to the abuser, but rather cohabiting or in other arrangements. Abuse can take other forms than physical abuse; other forms of abuse may be constantly occurring, while physical abuse happens occasionally.
Violence against women has the potential to lead the victim to mental illness, self-harm, and even attempts at suicide.
As it was in other parts of the World, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was observed in Nigeria on Friday, 25 November, 2011. A renewed pledge was made to keep working for the empowerment of women as it would not only eliminate negative tendencies against women but also give them their due status.
To mark the day, different Civil Society Organizations, and departments held Conferences, seminars, walks, rallies and activities to highlight the plight of those women who are victims of violence.
The growing incidents of violence against women are a blemish on the face of Society, as they seriously hamper the efforts for empowerment of women and gender equality.
Domestic Violence: Also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is defined as a pattern of abusive behaviours by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family or cohabitation.
Domestic Violence, so defined, has many forms, including physical aggression (hitting, Wife abuse, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects) or threats thereof, sexual abuse, emotional abuse; controlling or domineering, intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g neglect).
Alcohol consumption and mental illness can be co-morbid with abuse and presents additional challenges.
The Child witness to violence and its impact on Children who see or witness violence against women in the family.
The worst of what the world does to children is to witness violence-domestic violence.
Children whose parents assault each other, children who witness murders, rapes, and suicides. Children who live amid an abusive parent, are the children who are traumatized. These children see too much.
A family history domestic violence is strongly associated with a respondent’s own experience of domestic violence. Among women whose Fathers beat their Mothers, 53pecent have themselves experienced emotional, physical, or sexual violence, compared with 26pecent of women whose fathers did not beat their Mothers.
Children who witness violence don’t get help from nurturing adults, they grow up to be pessimistic, alienated and aggressive youth and adults as evidenced in our country Nigeria.
Political, legislative and economic reforms are a key to creating conditions essential for empowerment and emancipation of womenfolk in Nigeria.
Serious, urgent and concrete efforts are needed at every level of government in Nigeria to end the abuse of women and girls as violence against women and girls are on the increase. Women and girls not only in Nigeria but around the world, are subjected to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence, and the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.
To stop violence against women, it is not sufficient to create awareness about women rights among women, but it is also necessary that men join with women to encourage norms of consent, respect and gender equality to challenge the unfair power relations, which leads to violence, and promote gender roles based on non-violence and gender justice.
Violence against women can impact on the health and on their ability to actively participate in all aspects of community life.
Parents should teach their children family values: respect, obedience, discipline, empathy, morals, etc. as the family is the first unit of the larger society-Nigeria and the world. I urge government intervention in violence against women in Nigeria, by effectively implement and enact legislations to end violence against women and girls and the establishment of National Gender Commission.
A safe Nigeria for women is a safe Nigeria for all. ###

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