Domestic Violence and Effects
Before treating the Effects of Domestic Violence proper, there is a need to introduce the meaning of the Phrase ‘Domestic Violence‘. ‘Domestic violence’ is the emotional inconsistency that from time to time are experienced in marriages. Although this is natural, its effect on the married life is a contradiction on itself and hazardous to the true African ideology on marriage.
Every nation, every state and every village owes her progress as well as her woes to this same bedrock- the family; which can only come into being from marriage. Thus, the church affirms in the Second Vatican council, ‘’ the family is therefore, the principal school of social virtues which are necessary to every society. It is through the family that the children are gradually initiated into association with their fellow-men in civil life and as members of the people of God.’’ (A. Flanny 1988: 728).
Values that are not imparted in the domestic society, become hard to be acquired later. Domestic violence in marriages subverts the real idea of it. This will give in for a society where violence continues to diminish in love, a society where violence continues to increase, a society that knows no peace. The birth of an offspring from such a marriage means addition of one fighter, brute or even beast to the society and the loss of many lives.
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A Religious Approach
In other words, we will be in for Thomas Hobbes’ state of nature’ and ‘the war of all against all,’ as against the African fraternal love. The psychological needs of the children require a good family relationship. In the words of Pope Saint John Paul II, ‘’marriage and the family are invariably at the family are invariably at the cost of man and the society. Although in itself it is, one might say, a most private concern, an affair of two persons, of husband and wife, and the smallest group which they form together with their children, yet the fate of nations and continents, of humanity and the Church depends upon it.’’ (cf. Bakalar and Balkin, p. 37).
The African society is one that lives by fraternal love. Some marriages have entirely waved out the need for love. This makes the offspring of such a marriage to see nothing positive about others. Their understanding of the people they meet is nothing more than rivals. Such persons are ever in war and enmity with others, very aggressive and hostile against the fraternity and the solidarity of the African world. Marriage and the family are invariably at the root of all the affairs of man and the society; and the fate of the world depends upon it.
The African society so much believes in history. The origin and history of a person determines a lot about him already. Where there are unwholesome traces in one’s history, his person and even destiny is determined to a large extent by it. Despite all his heroic exploits, Okonkwo of ‘Things Fall Apart’ could not over run his history and origin. We observe that it was in the same forest where his effeminate father was left to die that he himself was later buried, thus, presenting the inscrutability of fate in the African ontology. Hence, to give a child the misfortune of a family built on a violent marriage means to determine that child for chaos. The failure of the family produces minds ever in a state of anger against the society; for we know that marriage is the identity of the world.
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The Way Out
However, I think we can make a head way from this degraded state of the African marriage and family in violence. We can find our way back to family life that conforms to the true African community and delete this syncretism from our world. The solution is actually a round one which begins from where it stops. First, there should be the age for marriage. No matter how anxious parents are, they should avoid pushing their children into early marriage. Marriage is a serious business more than just a relationship.
The troubles of marriage come as a result of a misunderstanding of what it is all about. When in courtship, and a couple decides to call each other perpetually into each other’s life, it is an invitation at that point to a tested and trusted candidate to share your troubles and weaknesses with you. And the one proves him or herself worthy of that invitation when after this extreme familiarity has set in and he or she still maintains respect for the other; in the spirit that: ‘I accepted you.’ In other words, couples should be old enough to understand that marriage is not a bed of roses and should be old enough to handle difficult situations.
What to Do!
There should be a way of incorporating marriage education in the civil program. As people get civilized, they should imbibe marriage training. The work has been abandoned to the church alone and despite her zeal and zest the society is a mixed one. Some hardly pay attention to religion but when for instance it becomes a compulsory course in schools, it will also help. Of course I cannot neglect the spiritual preparation for marriage. But above that, parents must have understood just as C.P Varkey said that there are three things that transform people: logic, relationship and example. And the most effective of all is example. The parents must have shown and continue to teach their children by example in their own married life. The child should never see parents quarrel; even if they must the child should never witness it.
Concluding the Effects of Domestic Violence
The African world is characterized by solidarity, hospitality, fraternity, respect, communion, and morality, to mention but a few. In order that these values do not go into extinction, the family and marriage must be strong for some good reasons. Marriage and the family are invariably at the root of all the affairs of man and the society; and the fate of the world depends upon it. The psychological needs of the children require a good family relationship. Every nation, every state and every village owes her progress as well as her woes to the same bedrock- the family; which can only come into being from marriage.
I hereby, advice that both the government and the individuals should sit up to see that adequate measures are taken towards the proper formation and training of couples.
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