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The Impact of Spousal Abuse Against Women and Men from the Perspective of the Abused and the Abuser

Info: 6896 words (28 pages) Dissertation
Published: 28th Feb 2022

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Tagged: CriminologyPsychology


Different philosophies amongst researcher, scholars and even ordinary publics about spousal abuse and this topic is fast becoming humanity issue since a rise in the rate of its problematic nature. This topic is also a challenging issues for numerous professionals even the policy makers, the abuser and the abused need to be acquainted of the impact of spousal abuse, to enable them to put the puzzle together and build a strategy to tackle it. Besides it plays a huge part in shaping the society, and understanding the what shapes the thinking and behaviour of an ethnic minority such as Nigerian is what knowing because as human we get easily shaped by other such as tradition, religion and culture.

The puzzle of this study was to unravel “The impact of spousal abuse against women and men from the perspective of the abused and the abuser from the Nigerians community in the UK” To date, there have never been any detailed finding specifically made for them.  However this project will study that by interviewing the view of the abuser and the abused; their reasons of behaving in the way they do and what prompts this behaviours. To achieve this, a semi structured interview was designed and used and the data’s collected through semi structured interviews; which targeted participants who must have had a taste of domestic violence in the past either as a victim, witness or as the abuser.

Keywords – Spousal Abuse;  domestic violence, intimate partner violence, Nigeria community (Nigerian); Men; Women; Qualitative method; Interview; Family;


This project was written as for publication in journal of family issues: Spousal abuse is a kind of domestic abuse and violence which is vast becoming rampant not just a personal issue but also a public health and psychological problems. Especially for those who are experiences it the spill over also gets to their love one and the children if involved (Hamberger and Renzetti, 1996). Alternatively: In this project, I investigated the impact of spousal abuse against women and men of Nigeria community, living in the UK. The Nigeria people are from West Africa and the biggest of the other countries in West Africa and 8th most heavily populated in the world with a strong gender role policies (Falola, (2010) An American criminologist authors (Blumstein and Wallman, (2006) are popularised on the fact crime rate such as robbery, property theft are on the drop except domestic violence which is on the opposite side, within USA, UK and Europe.  Many people have experienced this abuse while some are still recovering from it. This project will be a means to have an in-depth understanding of what triggers reaction so to be able to find a valid answers to save lives, families and make these community a better one.

According to recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report shows that domestic abuse triggers mental health problems, such as chronic depression, self-harm suicidal though, and some cases suicide. Moreover, women are particularly at risk for these negative consequences. There have been numerous report about spousal abuse not just in the UK, Europe, America, Africa however, none have been tailor-made to hear from the both sides (man and woman) to actually understand the depth of it. This report focuses on UK ethnic minority people from the West Africa called Nigeria. To ascertain and understand the underlying causes of this, 15 men and 15women either married, separated cohabitant (partners) and even the divorced couples that have had issues of spousal abuses even presently living together still or not.

Nevertheless Julie Gillard’s misogyny speech (2012) is exactly what is going on amongst Nigerian men; misogyny is what is mostly practiced among Nigerians which is the trigger behind the zeal of investigating a detailed research about this particular people so to understand the issue of ‘Spousal abuse’

The accurate number of spousal abuse cannot be ascertained because it’s only few women as most of them are too frighten to speak out, these made the result biased because the number of the men that has experienced domestic or spousal abuse is not recorded  according to (Refugees, (2017)research and statistics online report. They believe it’s not conclusive, indicates that this victim are scared of their individual lives and prefers to live with the abuse instead of talking about it, which made the deaths and incidents to be on the increase.    (Refugees, 2017)

In this report, semi structured questions via interview will be used to abstract information from these participants. Qualitative methodology which involves coding will be used to analysis the transcript data collected. The result will be established, followed by discussion, which involves reviewing other literatures, recommendation and then a conclusion. This report shall investigate the perspective of the person being abused, and the person abusing their spouse and to create awareness and to increase knowledge on the understanding of its causes. As earlier stated, Nigerians men and women living in the UK will be interviewed even though these Nigerians are living in the UK, they mostly exhibited similar norm and traditions as proven from the data collected [see literature review]

More so, the aims and objectives of this study is to create an in-depth understanding of the dangers and the triggers of spousal/ domestic abuse. In summary, this project will highlight the triggers and possibly find a solution for a mutual understanding for the two parties without resulting to abuse of any sort the further concurrence. Since nobody want to speak up about it, especially the men involved (Horne and Cook, 1998). It’s gradually expanding and getting this victims involved in this project will make it easier to understand their stories better. It will also lead to a broader understanding of the workings of the mind of the abuser and abused. The sole benefit of this project is to understand and find a way to tackle the issue of spousal abuse of any kind.


Spousal abuse is a kind of domestic violence though the act (abuse) is perpetrate by one of the spouse to the other, is also known as intimate partner violence (IPV), is a serious national problem. It devises remained recounted that occurrences of masculine committed IPV affect amongst 1 and 4 million women per year (American Psychological Association [APA], 1996; Council on Scientific Affairs, 1992; Ronet & Saltzman, 1995). Nearly one third of American women have reported being physically, emotionally, financially or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives (Collins et al., 1999), with 28% of all annual violence against women being perpetrated by intimates (Ronet, 1994). This occurrences is rapidly spreading amongst every other race so it is now becoming a humanity thing, which urgently needs an acute measures to be able to put it in check. This can be illustrated briefly by (Pizzey and Shapiro, 1982) when stated that spousal abuse is no a woman issue an more because more man are becoming victims. They also highlighted the dangers of when children are very vulnerable might have issues such as

  • Attempt suicide
  • Develop eating disorder
  • Poor social skills abuse themselves (cutting)
  • Be violent themselves in response to threat (school or at home)
  • May enter into an abusive relationship later on.

Further more involved children they claimed that suffers distress both emotional and behavioural, all of the effects of abuse from the woman to man and the children overlaps each other, which needs tackling now before it becomes an epidemic. The long term effect of domestic violence are far reaching and often women develop an impaired ability to nurture their children and to contribute to the positive development (Stark and Buzawa, 2009) the minute someone overhear of domestic violence or spousal abuse they commonly think of a bodily discolouration, black eye, bumps, cracked jaws, undoubtedly these might exist however children presence as an observer of spousal abuse remain upset if not worse than the direct spouse, they evident. Further support plus care should be designed for women, particularly mothers (Stark and Buzawa, 2009) (Buzawa, Buzawa and Stark, 2017)

Even though women are the most common victims of spousal abuse or IPV, just under 1 million (834,700) men per year report being victims of IPV (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998).  (Brothers, 2014) comments that most times these men revolts against when they are abuse but because they didn’t report their own part of the incident they are now tagged as the abuse (Wesley, n.d.).  Over the years, spousal abuse have been on the media, and it is fast becoming a social issues. It has been pictured significantly as a female issues whilst the male counterparts are been swept under carpets and this have been going on for a long time that professionals, psychologist and other professionals have decided to look into it and expose it. ”Simply presenting rates of violence by race could be misleading” (pg. 133) this is a yellow card warning by Straus and his colleagues (1980), rather emphasis that it is a humanity issue and call for a need for a radical tackle.

As far as numerous traditions around menfolk devising at all times the perpetrators of spousal abuse, there are studies that proven otherwise  these studies have aimed at the exploring of the hidden side of domestic violence against men are in upsurge and have criticised  that  spousal abuse, a gender base crime is mistaken(Cook, 2009). It now no more hidden that spousal abuse from the female partner to their male partner, husband is drastically on the rise before processing to examine this claims. It is important to look at some findings that might help one understand fully. McLeod studied 6,000 spousal assault cases reported to the Detroit police Department, where she revealed that male spousal assault remain popular in a bad way as it increase from zero to the 6% of the 10%. More men are now waking up to be bold by reporting incidents of spousal abuse since late 1990s concludes (Cook, 2009). It was hinted that presently 20%-30% of all spousal violence is exclusively female to male and a lot of studies has proven that women are and can be as abusive as men (Gelle, 1997) Largely, spousal abuse and violence remains a social delinquent not unbiased a sexual categorised matter (Fiebert, 1997) a possible explanation for this might be that it is equally underwrote.

According to the definition provided by Falola (2001) People of Nigeria occupies over “356,669, square miles” situated in the west of Africa with over hundred million and the biggest among the rest of the West Africa. The people of Nigeria is are strongly cultural motivated, this have over time influenced their identity, tradition and lifestyle. Nigerians practise patriarch with “high rate of gender base human right abuses”. She states that Nigeria is a place where human welfare and wellbeing is not justified and apart from having three main tribes [Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba] with another 250 other micro tribes with two principal religions; “40 %Christianity, 50% Islam and 10% other various indigenous religions” exemplified further. She concludes by saying that domestic/spousal abuse is obviously further down stated by the side of an outsized range it remains generally established formerly in attendance even a regulation that licenses a man to chastise his wife [Penal code of the northern Nigeria;http://oceansbeyondpiracy.org/sites/default/files/Nigeria_Penal_Code_Act_1960.pdf](Falola, 2001). Overall, Falola and Heaton (2010) supports the view that these people are shaped by these beliefs, like the Christians has to live up the expectations in line with all that the bible instructed and the Islam’s in the other hands practises Sharia law. However they believed that these are triggers for a high of divorce rates and other spousal violence which remain unchecked (Falola and Heaton 2010).

Nigeria is a country dominated by gender role, Rosenberg (2000) holds the view that every gender in Nigeria is excepted to behave in a certain way; menfolk stand grasped as per a grander in all area almost after God who they believe is the ultimate supreme. The women are very much irrelevant from their various homes even in the polities and  are expected to take orders and act on it from men at all times regardless that Nigeria is a signatory to the international convention equality for women yet that practise is null in realism. (Rosenberg, 2000)

Moving on now to consider some other factors that is fuelling the cause of spousal abuse, regardless that these men are speaking out more overtime and getting support. However, there are other issues that flagged off during these study which is worth highlighting because these factors might have a role to play on why most men, boyfriend, husband, spouse abuses their wives/spouse/partner or girlfriends and most of them base it on individual believes (Christian, Muslim and others) and other social norms, value and tradition of the people of Nigeria.  Most especially men and women are from different cultural background are highly influenced by these practises regardless of how wrong or brutal they are” (Handford, 1994).

There would therefore seem to be a definite need to share roughly basics that can be a spring clue on the road to abuse between couple:

  • Conformity
  • Societal factors  and prosocial behaviour
  • Cultural influence, norms and manners
  • Traditions and customs
  • Stereotyping and prejudice

Every human behaviour, norm, mannerism and custom is passed down to them in life by the previous generation to the present day through tradition and conformity. (Spurling, 2014)  Tradition includes nature and nurture are part of the factors that moulds humans behaviour on what is seen or accepted as norms, values and culture. Humans are drastically impacted by cultural influence and mannerism, regardless of how educated they grow up to be though human grow up to acquire more from nurture and nature element, things that surrounds every human as they grow from infancy to adulthood (Loader, 1985)

It is also important to bear in mind that the Christian bible, (Ephesian 5 verse 22 King James Version (KJV)(pg.677) states that “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord”, (1 Peter 2: 18)(pg.704)“Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh” and even another place in the bible (1 Timothy 2:11-12King James Version (KJV)) (pg.686), conditions that a female must acquire in inaudibility plus complete compliance and generally prepare not certificate a female in the direction of demonstrate or to shoulder right above a male; this woman is required to remain silent. Taken together all the above mentioned places in the Christian bible,  these results suggests that most of these ‘Christian men’ might hid under the umbrella of what this verses of the bible is saying and use it as a justification of their right to abuse their spouses. Men superiority seems to be a possible cause of the a spousal abuse in a Christian home because it teaches them (men) to dominant and mores this teaching threatens that ‘God’ sanctions divorce (Malachi 2:16)(KJV). While also over again now evangelical writings, spousal accomplishment remains grounded proceeding of a woman obedience; the situation remains the foundation which continuously womanhood view are refereed or else honoured.

There are an evidence that suggest that spousal abuse takes place in various church communities according to Queensland academic, (Baker, 2010), who advising Christian Females on proceeding of tackling spousal abuse because this study also found that 22% of offenders of spousal abuse are enthusiastic towards religious often. Approximately aspect of these verdicts headed for the traditional values minsters that discourses ideal masculine superiority and the male domination with entire instructions continuously on manly right. In a similar case in America, McGuire et al., supports the above claim when he stated that “men who attend church less often are most likely to abuse their wives” (McGuire, Lewis and Blatchley, 1992)

Recent update from a data debates professor, (Steve T. 2007) demonstrates that those male that periodically go to church remain probable the higher risk of abusing their spouse than those that are ‘worldly’ this is support by the evidence of five scholars (Fergusson et al 1986; Brinkerhoff et al 1991; Ellison et al 1991; Ellison and Anderson 2001; Wilcox 2004).they stressed highly the impact of religious traditions plays a phenomenal role in the society and that must of these abuse are concealed in these churches too.

Numerous studies have compared the Christian teaching and the Muslim teaching, they found that the both teachings are very similar and essentially identical when it comes to the case of ‘spousal abuse,  men superiority and patriarch.  Islam approvals of partner violence and outlooks customarily intense happenings, it was believed that the 34th verse in chapter four of the Quran (4:34).here remains a solid agreement that Islam influences spousal exploitation … “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands)” justification of male superiority is highly emphasised and this is from a particular place in the Quran which is a guideline or code of conduct to the Muslims whereas bible is to the Christians.

Additionally increase evidence has suggested that victims of spousal abuse suffers more of an emotional, psychological than a physical bruises and scars because the emotion and psychological scars and aftermath tend to live with one for the rest of their live unless when dealt with through counselling sessions and other therapeutically ways (Buriánek and Pikálková, 2013). They also establish that experience in the direction of spoken manipulations level deprived of bodily exploitation, ought to have solid outcome continuously the emotional wellbeing.  Follingstad and her partners, one study, shows that 72% of the abused females testified that emotional abuse had an extra acute effect than bodily harm and also reveals that these victims clearly have issues with Self-worth, anxiety, despair, isolation or seclusion (Follingstad et al., 1990) further they established that individuals with the maximum intensities of despair plus the bottommost stages of communal care ought to the peak death possibility and most of these impacts triggers on women post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Scholars abstains point out that spousal abuse have emotional impact casualty’s wellbeing plus long life too this distinction is further exemplified in study work (Fisher & Regan, 2006). Spousal abuse impacts both sexes though male might not show emotions in a way that female tends to do, they are still hurting (Hampton, 2001)  recent study reported by (Dobash, 2017) proves also that 22% male as well as 25% female specifies having experience with a constant depression of confidence. He also writes that it is wild becoming a comprehensive ruin that requires a critical measure in advance before the situation goes in the direction of an endemic.

In another study, by Tolman and Bhosley, confirms that emotional abuse, such as name calling, silent war, yelling, swearing, insults, mocking, and humiliation are most times still remain extremely severe than threat, beating/ battery or every other forms of physical abuse.  Their main aim aimed at the emphasis that the impact/s of undergoing emotional abuse is a harmful or more than that of a physical abuse to both genders (Tolman &Bhosley, 1991). There is a lot of consistency about spousal abuse and various types of mental illnesses and that has been long overdue for more study and researches to be carried out in response to this effect.

Mental health and domestic violence becoming constantly supplementary obvious that psychological wellbeing situations are complex trendy several circumstances of spousal abuse plus exploitation. This was demonstrated the call for update awareness campaigns and (Dutton, 1995) and (Gelles, 1997) are somehow interconnected to borderline personality disorder (BPD) with spousal abuse. BPD distresses an expected 2% of the general population also 75% of the detected circumstances of this condition remain females.

Bipolar condition is similarly every so often interrelated through intense and illogical actions. Nevertheless reinstatement of an individual’s lithium stability remains thriving acknowledged now in the conduct of bipolar syndrome, the situation be contemporary a share not theoretical in commerce through spousal abuse.

Significance/ overview of the Report

It is time to end the plight of spousal abuse that is fast becoming tradition especially among the Nigerian community yet most of them are terrified to speak about it in fear of been stigmatized by their family or love one for a broken home as evidenced by the data generated. This research project will be very resourceful for the social workers, GP’s, psychological therapist and every other agency involved in the improvements of the family lives within the Nigerian communities in UK and possibly can be replicated for other African minorities too because they have a lot in common. It will assist them to gain an insight and see things in their own view and able to navigate around any spousal issues that they encounter as a family or couple.

Increasing the knowledge and flagging spousal abuse will definitely bring most of the hidden out so that a way to resolve it will be established because there have never been a research which focuses on both the female and the male not just focusing on just one sided. There is a huge gap for this type of study because I didn’t come across anything similar during this study.


A mixed method will be applicable to this research, to enable generate and abstract a deeper information and also to apply other methods without restrictions (Denscombe, 2014).   To ascertain and understand the underlying causes of this, 15 men and 15 women either married, separated cohabitant (partners) and even the divorced couples that have had issues of spousal abuses even presently living together still or not making it 30 participants in total was interviewed and record via Dictaphone.


Semi structured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 15 men and 15 women. Volunteered participants are from a local church in Nottingham where, they receive counselling and support services from. The rest participants are from the victim support [domestic violence support team]. These participants are every suitable for this study because they are either have receiving or still receiving support from the two organizations as either a victim or an abuser. They have been involved or experienced spousal abuse of any kind been it physical, psychological, financially and mental abuse. This project data was collected via interview with the use of a Dictaphone. The interview did not last no longer that half an hour with a one off event. All the information collected via interview were kept anonymised to promote confidentiality, and there will be no way of identifying any participant’s personal information in the data archive unless one provides the coded alphabetical alphabets given to each individual as their unique identification code. After the participants have consented and debriefed, they were given beforehand the interview questions before attending on the interview day. This study is not particularly interested in any individual responses nonetheless it also looked at the general patterns that emerge when the data are aggregated together.

More so, all participants are completely voluntary, they are not obliged in anyway shape or form to take part in this research project. But if chose to, they have the full right to refuse participation, refuse to answer any question/s and have the full right to withdraw at any given point at the duration of this project without any consequences whatsoever until the report is written up (until the 31/05/2017).  However, during the interview, confidentiality will be broken if there is any belief that someone might be in a great danger or harm of any form. After the Data is processed and done with the project, it will be deleted/destroyed in accordance with the Psychology Ethics Code (Eckstein, (2003).

Smith and Flowers (1997) Interpretative phenomenological analysis brings out in every sentence individual series of events in life in the own words, due to that will be using it to analyse the data, because it will widely allow the accessibility and making sense of every collected information (Smith & Eatough, 2006; Smith, Flowers, & Osborn, 1997).Smith, Flowers and Larkin, (2013) explained that taken together it will assist in understanding what it is like and a full insight of a left out details and also an overall, will give a more defined analysis so to understand their mental state, emotions, body language and expressed words. They also states that the aforementioned decide proposes towards each specific imputes to happenings which are merely available over informative method plus appropriate probable in the trend of these individual intellectual internal domain they concludes. (Smith, Flowers and Larkin, 2013)

Subsequently British psychology extensively habits the use of IPA within their several practices meant for it vast significance to ascribe events. Throughout the sessions when using the IPA analysis summaries are prepared not merely the detailed data however the body language that transpired during the sessions such as feeling and showing emotions, anger or fright (Smith et al., 1990) (Smith et al., ibid.).


The results findings were interpreted with caution because it has some psychological sensitivity which was evident because the duration of some of the interview session was longer than the estimated time plan which was for half an hour (see method). There were few interferences because some of the participant states that they reoccurs the psychological and physical abuse incidents and that it have a way of triggering mental health which significantly goes beyond anxieties, fears, worries, depression and much more the data suggested. Nevertheless the aftermath of ignoring, isolating, negative names calling goes beyond causing low self-esteem because it makes the victim either male or female to feel unloved and unvalued, the data evidences.

It was also discovered through that data that few men abuse is now on the increase (men are now speaking out about spousal abuse the more) and few men are going through abuse especially financially and sexually, though now receiving support with their various partner they still said that they feels less of a man. According to the data, the male tend to emulate their father when growing up and seeing them do same to their mothers and step mother respectively. While few data points to the fact that the fact that these male are abused as child by the step parent, they developed abusing other as a cope from what they witnessed growing up. There were a lot criticisms when asked about any foundations/ charities in Nigeria that supports victims of spousal abuse proves: only a few was able to suggest that they have heard of a few whilst the rest of the participants states that they have only heard about them on the national TV, newspapers and discourse unlike in the UK that have more than 23 charities for male and female domestic violence victims.

They also emphasised that these NGO’s are very notorious for recklessly spending of these funds allocated to them by philanthropist and other international organisations, regardless of the recent government introduction of (DVPO- Domestic Violence Prevention Orders). In addition to this stated, some NGO’s in Nigeria are there for just a way of building a political profile and propaganda.  It was also collected from the data that the ‘Nigeria is a ruthless country’ with no accountability nor responsibility. “No protection for the oppressed from the oppressor in Nigeria, it is simply the survival of the fittest” few of the participant shared.

Nigerian police force are not left out either for the data displays that they are not professionals in any sort of form because they prompts the victim on coming to them to make a report to go back home because they have provisions for major crimes and not for ‘marital issues’ and these police officers compels them to go home and sort it out by been obedient to their various male partner according to most female data. More so the data ascertains also that these women stays back in these abusive relationship because of ‘hopelessness’, nothing to fall on, fear of the tag of been a divorced woman in the Nigeria tradition is a forbidden.

Most of their individual families encourages them to stay back and to save the family reputation, honour and image from the stigma of divorce as they see it the data further adds especially those married to a wealthier families and arrange marriages too. They feel for the future of their children especially most of them are made to be a stay at home mother and the benefits (social welfare) goes to their husbands personal account.  In the other hands, when asked ‘if there is any stemming to the occurrences of spousal abuse the data suggests that little or nothing is put in place to checkmate this occurrences, whereas people are very worried because of their individual identity and stories been broadcast on the national media because of inadequate of human right and protection, in their words ‘there is no confidentiality or personal privacy’ so people don’t talk about it because they don’t want to read about their lives in the local tabloids.

When asked about the effects of spousal abuse the individuals with children the data illustrates that the most children involved are traumatised when they are aware of it though some are still young to understand the happenings. Few of the mothers (participates) states that “it make my children jumpy, cold and scared of their father, it effects the ability to make friend”. Whilst other states that “it makes the children to be very aggressive towards other people” they claimed that their children withdraws from their relationships with them. These children one participant said have developed an impaired behaviour, they are now bullies, who love keeping to themselves. Few attempt suicide or self-harm or turn to drugs /alcohol to get a raid of the bottled anger, poor social skills or enter into an abusive relationship later on.

The data also indicates that there were a lot threats previously made to some of these women with children from their various spouses regarding them telling the GP, police, social worker or anyone in authority, according to the data, threat like “you will never see the children again and I will report you to the church/mosques” and so forth. For the reason that they fear losing their children and the stigma. Example: fear of their children, been labelled as a product of a broken homes or being brought of a ‘single parent’ either by father alone or by mother alone. These participants also brought it to know from the data collected that their children are used as a tool to spite the other partner such as, threat, like a pawn, like a bid in a gamble, some threatens that they’ll cut off their partners as soon as they leave and that they will never see or visit the children. This simply means that this partner uses coercion and threats as leverage to get or black mail these women.

During this research interviews, striking facts were discovered that actually wasn’t never thought existed, which will be all explained as the processing of the results continues; as previously stated 15 women participants took part in the interview, 10 of them are still with their abusive partner/husbands/wives even at the time of the interview but it was also established that the police, the right authorities/personals and local support team are aware of it so no one is danger.

In the other hand, the men participants in this study, in line with the data are very insensitive, 5 out of the 15 men interviewed for this study were very selfish and ignorant  How did you conclude this? You need to be transparent in how the data (e.g. your interviews) supports these conclusions. For example, use quotes from your transcripts to support these results of what is required of them as a man from these women.

They also still see these women as their purchased possessions, and gaslights them, to the extent that most the female participants somehow questions their own sanity. On the question to Mr. S, on what he understood spousal abuse to be? Which is one of the ten questions given to these participants and was the questions used for these research, He (Mr S) explained that it’s the UK’s law that is decorating it that he can only say that it’s a way for the man, who is the head of the family uses to put a control over the wife, who to him is meant to be a subject or subordinate, he concludes gathered from the data.

According to the data collected, a more detailed account when asked Ms. Q. if she has been a victim of domestic violence? She stated that he “gaslights her” and when asked to explain that, she commented that the spouse knows on how to make her go extremely low and loss confidence on herself even her self-esteem. She furthered by saying that the culture in Nigeria makes a man to pay a ‘bride price’ to the woman’s family which some sort of money and items that is like that woman’s price tag and these action makes some of these men to feel that they have now purchased’ these women and can do whatever they so choses with them as a commodity, without any fear of any law.

However, it was discovered that the remaining 5 men participants were abused by their partner/wife though not really physically but psychologically and mentally because most of these women when interviewed and asked why they are abusing their individual spouse, they stated “I grew up seeing my mother being abuse so I felt that the best way to safe myself is to be strong and to be an abuser instead of being abused” while another states that her aunt she grew up with, was abused by her partner so I have to do something about it because I don’t want to be like my aunt she disclosed the data demonstrates.

More so, data gathered highlights that the grandmother and guidance being abused and molested by their various partners/husbands. These made them develop a defence mechanism to be able to defend themselves and attack instead of being attacked first. All of these participants are have been abused or have abuse their partner at some point of their lives together although most of them are not physical. Whilst some of this participant didn’t recognize the incident to be an abuse rather most thinks that it’s a traditional/cultural thing or a sort of hereditary circle.

These participants see their spouses as someone that they are in a toss of power and control with instead of seeing them as a companion that they should be able to be steadfast, the data states. Most of the participants indicated that they finally decided to speak up and get help because of ‘child safety’. The frights/ upset that the child faces whenever these abuses occurs or take place is enormous. Vehemently, the study data shows that especially women stressed that their extended families reminded them of the shames that comes with a broken relationships/marriages.

However, the participant’s shows through the data that UK born Nigerians have a total different mind-set besides they are the ones that started to speak up before the others joined.  My husband constantly reminded me it was my wifely duty to obey his every command. “Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man; rather, she is to remain silent” was few of the religious quotes that their spouses uses as a tool against them.


Though the definition of spousal abuse varies according to the findings of this study and in 1998, great veterans that is popularised by their research work into family violence Murray, A. S. and Richard, J. G. states that roughly four million individuals each year are object to some sort of domestic violence’ such as; beating, name calling, throwing of things and assaults of all sorts. The findings from this study supports their collective claim that individual’s in an abusive relationships suffer regardless of who insignificant it might seem.

It was also made evident that since Nigerians are traditionally driven Falola and Heaton (2010) the data collected proves it, because it was gathered that these participant especially the domination over women by men, regardless of the full advancement (Falola and Heaton, 2010)

The Nigeria police and government doesn’t have anything put in place for the protection of this victims nor even for the safety of any individual living in it overall callous as Rosenberg (2000) believed. (Rosenberg, 2000)

The issue of women abusing their spouse is on the rise as very peculiar to the data collected from this study and this is also supported by the UK based charity by name Mankind, the myth of spousal abuse is seem to be more in the lower class and between the spouses is more about financially reason and more of this abusers grew up in an abusive homes (New.mankind.org.uk, 2017) (http://new.mankind.org.uk/ ) this study was useful because it gave light to the inadequate performances of the charities and foundations in the Nigeria unlike in the UK that has numerous.

Spousal abuse is recently becoming humanity issue because of its impact not just to the spouses involved but more so to the children the data proves, who are going to the further generation. An alternative interpretation of this is found in the work of Nakray (2013) who confirms that it is high time for everyone to be are of this issue that is fast becoming an epidemic (Nakray, 2013)

A significant difference were found in the data collected in the issue of the biblical submission of spouses to their ‘masters’ unlike what Nason-Clark (1997), who states that the clergy are meant to be a like a farmer shepherding for the lamb instead of the abuse that lingers around covert in the name of religion both Christianity and Muslims (Nason-Clark, 1997)

Weatherholt (2008) broke with tradition by raising the question that the women should obey their husbands without any questioning to be submissive at all time and added that the church practise a free and fair marriages where everyone involved in it should be free and not the tussle of power and authority. The family should be a place where mutual respect is adhered especially an in Christian home and this generation should be mindful of what they hand down to the next generation by not exposing them to abuse and violence especially in a home. Marital rape shouldn’t be swept under the carpet just in the name of religion (Weatherholt, 2008).


The finding of this report will be used to advice the social workers, psychologist, local GP, nurses, church/ mosque leaders, domestic abuse/victim support group/team and every other scholar. Whoever chooses to get more depth knowledge spousal abuse issue within the Nigerians in UK.  It can be replicated and applied in a different Africa minority that has similar tradition and culture.


Every human deserves a right to safety to be free from any form of abuse because abuse doesn’t always mean physical violence; it includes economic abuse, financial abuse, digital abuse, psychological abuse according to the world health organisation (WHO). It also the best of time to bring and openly discuss spousal abuse without masking it or making it a gender issues. To tackle the issue of rise in divorce which is somehow as a result of spousal abuse and violence (see the literature and result/findings) it should be established that as spouse mutual respect be practise.

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