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Domestic Violence: Stuck On Stockholm?

When you hear words like, “he will change”, ‘he won’t do it again”, he said I’m sorry”, know for a fact that you are no longer needed at the scene.

Less than a week ago Nigerians were screaming bloody murder over the so-called wife beater, Pius Angbo, a Channels Tv reporter, but alas the story has changed.

Dr. Mrs Ifeyinwa Angbo, wife of Angbo, has given the public the boot as she warned everyone to mind their business.

In her words; “Mind your business and leave my family alone. I have reconciled with my husband. Going forward, I want to make my marriage work. All we need now is your prayers.”

This is not surprising at all. It’s been a very common phenomenon, not just in our clime, but in other parts of the world.

In my previous article I mentioned the Stockholm syndrome and what it means. It is now very pertinent to go a bit further into the origin of the concept. Stockholm syndrome is a condition in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity. The concept became popular in 1973 when two men held four people hostage for 6 days after a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. After the hostages were released, they refused to testify against their captors and even began raising money for their defense. (Source- Healthline)

After that, psychologists and mental health experts assigned the term “Stockholm syndrome” to the condition that occurs when hostages develop an emotional or psychological connection to the people who held them in captivity.

Apart from the strong societal lashes an abuse victim could get, such a person ultimately has the major role to play in achieving total emancipation from her abuser. No matter what advocates of “leave the abusive environment” tell a victim, no matter how many times she lands in the emergency room, if such a person doesn’t come to terms with the need to step out from such a bubble, there’s no breaking the cycle.

The sanctity of marriage is enshrined in the Bible and custom, it really shouldn’t be toyed with. Then the question that needs to be answered is, how sanctimonious is a union cemented by daily blows?

Let’s see some globally authenticated statistics. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence – is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights.

Global estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime.

Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner.

It is also true that most abused women will remain in the marriage and eventually die from the violence. Some questions; do victims know they can die from the abuse? Do they in the first place know that they are being abused?

In my next article I will focus on a special class of special victims in an abusive environment that are usually overlooked -children.


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