Raise your left hand if you know someone/anyone who has been a victim of domestic violence.
Ok, still keep your hands up.
Now, raise your right hand if you have ever been a victim/witnessed a domestic violence scene in reality.
Chances are, if this activity was carried out in a room full of people, more than half, if not all, of all hands in the room will be up.
Domestic Violence occurs all over the world, but in Naija I think it’s such a hush hush thing. Our hypocritical society doesn’t necessarily encourage sharing of such stories, so you can imagine my surprise reading about a Domestic Violence Law in Lagos!
Domestic Violence 101:
“Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, dating abuse, and intimate partner violence (IPV), is a pattern of behavior which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, cohabitation, dating or within the family. Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.” Wiki
Domestic Violence Law in Lagos:
By this law, anyone found engaging in “spousal-abuse-activities” such as marital rape, physical, psychological or economic injury risks spending some time behind bars. (source).
So wait, we didn’t have such a law before?
I guess people now know there’s such a law and the Lagos state government seems to want to take domestic violence a little more seriously.
So what exactly does this Law mean for Lagosians?
Well, in addition to time behind bars for culprits who are found guilty of abusing their spouses, victims will be taken out of the environment in which the abuse is taking place and provided housing by the Government.
Don’t get me wrong, I think this is fantastic news. I’m happy about this as it seems to be a step towards the right direction. But, I’m a bit skeptical. From my understanding, Lagos state government seems to have their hearts in the right place, but the implementation is where most of their plans fail. Let’s watch and see (and hope) this law would be an exception. Who knows, maybe other states will follow suit…
Let us know what you think using the comments box below!