Gender-Based Domestic Violence against Children: Experiences of Girl-Children in Nigeria

Journal of Psychology in Africa, 2009, 19(1), 107-111

Gender-Based Domestic Violence against Children: Experiences of Girl-Children in Nigeria

Esere MO, Idowu AI, Omotosho JA


This study investigated the dynamics of gender-based domestic violence against children in Nigeria. This qualitative study explored the experiences of 20 purposively selected girl-children (age range = 12 to 15 years) from two SOS Children’s Village who have been victims of Domestic Violence (DV). Qualitative data on DV experiences and associated factors were collected through 6 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). Physical violence was reported by 90% of the participants; psychological abuse by 80% and violent sexual abuse (rape) by 10%. Major factors associated with last episode of DV experiences included: inability to finish selling wares that were being hawked, late preparation of food, getting home late from the market, burning of the employer’s cloth while ironing, refusal to be genitally cut and refusal to be raped by the man of the house. Self-reported consequences of DV by victims included amongst others: constant headaches (30%) physical injury (25%), sleep disturbances (20%), excessive fear and anxiety (10%), hatred for men (10%) and suicidal ideation (5%). These findings suggest that DV may be playing significant but salient role in the poor state of health of Nigerian children and effective intervention processes at all levels are needed to address it.

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