JASSD - Journal of African Studies and Sustainable Development (Vol. 5 No. 2, 2022) VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHURCH INTERFERENCE: THE NIGERIAN PERSPECTIVE Nzeh Atracta A., PhD; UGWULEBO K. C., PhD & Okoro Ugonna O., PhD


Violence Against Women (VAW) is a global trend, not particular to Nigeria. News abound about forms of violence inflicted on women by their husbands or other males. Though Gender Based Violence (GBV) connotes harm inflicted on individual or individuals as regards their sex. Males are not exempted from such violent acts, but females are vulnerable to these unscrupulous acts. Forms of violence are being inflicted on women as they are seen as the victims and men as the perpetrators. The forms of violence range from physical, economic, psychological or emotional to social. As women are perceived as the weaker sex, they are subjected to extreme dehumanizing abuses. It is ascertained that religion opened ground for violence against women as the Christian Bible enjoins wives to be submissive to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24). The society too which the females find themselves is not exonerated as some societal norms have empowered men to be dominant over women. Some cultures demand women to be subordinate to their husbands, while some have subjected females to genital mutilation which is improper and has unhealthy effects. Four theories are used in this paper, the Social Learning Theory which states that children are prone to learned behaviours exhibited by their parents, relatives, etc, that is, they learn violence through their parents, relatives, etc; the sociocultural theory which gives men power of dominance in the society as a result encourages them to exert control over females by force when such control is not recognized by their female counterparts; the VictimBlaming Theory which blames the victims of violence as the cause; and the Resource Theory which stipulates that once a person is economically viable, there is the tendency of low violence. It is recommended among others that the Church should consider situations at hand and issue certificates of divorce if need be, especially as some churches abhor divorce. There should be counselling departments in the Churches where perpetrators are educated to desist from violent acts. It is imperative to include in the schools' curricula (private and public) a subject that deals with Gender Based Violence in order to eradicate the ugly situation.

Keywords: Violence Against Women, Gender Based Violence, Church interference, causes and effects, Nigerian perspective

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