Saturday, 29 July 2017 08:15

The Agony of Watching their Parents Fight – In the Face of Violence Pt. 2

Helping the Children

The tragic tales are all around us. A slap here, a kick there and bruises all over . Sometimes, it is triggered off by a simple word or a look and the children are helpless.

Folake (not real name) watched her mother, a victim of domestic violence over the years. She often wonders why her mum has not left. Folake sulks and broods over how much she hates her dad daily but she is powerless. The only option left to her is to be as rebellious as possible, hoping that will distract her dad from beating her mum, but it actually worsens matters most times.

Parents involved in a violent relationship may think that the fighting does not affect their children, but it is not so . Even children who do not see violence are affected by deep conflicts between their parents. They may develop serious emotional and behavioural problems. Sometimes, these problems are not recognized by their parents, school counselors or teachers. This sometimes prevents them from getting the help that they need.

In cases of domestic violence between parents, child abuse can also come in since the children can get hurt accidentally or even be intentionally beaten by the aggressive partner. That was the trauma of the lady who was dragged out of her home by her husband and her 10year old son who tried to protect her. He was knocked against the wall and sustained a head injury.

In a household where domestic violence occurs, children need to be constantly assessed for their health and safety . Some of the symptoms that may be exhibited are:

  • Depression
  • Loss of interest in school, friends or things they enjoyed in the past
  • Increased aggression
  • Anger
  • Spending more time alone
  • Fighting in school or at home
  • Bullying others or being bullied
  • Anxiety

In older children, careful observation is needed. Some of the issues may be:

  • New rebellious or oppositional behaviour
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Social withdrawal
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Skipping school
  • Declining grades

Cases of domestic violence are on the increase and it is important that educational institutions across all levels, counsellors and government rise in defense of the Nigerian Child. If you see something off, you have a responsibility and a moral obligation to say something- for the sake of that child. We should not wait for fatal occurences before we gather to mourn and say "He's been abusing her for years. We didn't know he would kill her." There are several governmental and non-governmental bodies that can also help to navigate this issue. Some of them are listed below;

  • PROJECT ALERT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
    Contact: 08052004698, 08180091072
  • iPROTECT SOCIETY AFRICA
    Contact: 08033620843, 08056979605
  • LAGOS STATE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESPONSE TEAM

          Contact: Call 112 or 08137960048; 0802-300-1646; 0905-590- Check: http://dsvrtlagos.org/ for details

  • MEDIA CONCERN FOR CHILDREN AND WOMEN (MEDIACON)
    Contact: 08099522847, 08058207164
  • WOMEN RIGHTS ADVANCEMENT AND PROTECTION ALTERNATIVE (WRAPA)
    Contact: 08188699961, 08172125692
  • WOMEN ADVOCATES RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION CENTRE (WARDC)
    Contact: 08055851858, 08180056401
  • WOMEN AID COLLECTIVE
    Contact: 09095619586, 08066092184
  • INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF WOMEN LAWYERS (FIDA) NIGERIA
    Contact: 07088496115

 

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