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Talking Law with Ivie Omoregie: Victims of Domestic Violence, Here’s Where You Can Get Help

Ivie Omoregie

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Globally domestic violence is an enormous concern, with many cultures having accepted it as a fact of life. However, in recent years, due to the prevalence and the extreme conduct displayed in some instances, it has become a significant criminal issue.

In many African cultures, a woman married to a man becomes the possession and responsibility of the man. Nigeria reports an alarmingly high level of violence against women, with a reported one third of all women having experienced abuse by their partners. I have heard of instances where a man’s defence was “I am just disciplining her”. These men are of the genuine belief that, like children, their wives are innately indisciplined, and thus in need of setting straight.

The Crazed Bully
On Christmas eve, a very close friend of mine called me at 2am in distress. All I heard was “Ivie this man wants to kill me”; I immediately ran to her aid.
Upon getting there I learnt that her “boyfriend” of 5 months (not even husband ooh) had kicked down the front gate, dislocating her security guards shoulder in the process and smashed up her car. After he had smashed up every single breakable item on the car (all the windows, the side mirrors and head lamps), he proceeded to kick down a series of doors to get to her bedroom. His purported explanation was that he thought she had another man in the house because she wasn’t answering his calls. However, upon confirming there was no other man in the house, in a fit of rage, he proceeded to destroy her home, breaking everything breakable.

When his eyes had cleared, he began to apologise profusely and was begging her to “follow me to the house in Ikoyi, I will give you the money for the damage caused”. In his mind, as long as he could afford to pay for the damage caused, he could not fathom what the issue was.
I was speechless at the extent of the destruction and just thought to myself “this is how men kill their partners”.

Domestic Violence in Nigeria
I am sure we have all heard about the surge in instances where domestic violence has led to the deaths of young vibrant mothers. Unfortunately, many people still believe domestic violence is a matter that should be resolved in the privacy of the home, thus “allowing it to be shielded from outside scrutiny”.

More often than not, the ability of these women to seek help is significantly curtailed by their financial reliance on the man, thus in Nigeria we have historically found that the majority of women who experience domestic violence do not report these incidences to the correct authorities. Many would rather seek help from their own families or their husband’s families, thus resulting in the gross under reporting of domestic violence cases in Nigeria.
This article aims to highlight the legal assistance available should one (God forbid) find themselves in a situation where immediate assistance is required. As always, this article was written with Lagos state in mind. Therefore, I must stress that laws and policies do vary slightly from state to state.

Call the POLICE on 112
It is intriguing and somewhat disappointing that the majority of people do not even realise that in Nigeria we are able to call the police and trust that they will come (without asking for petrol money….). Historically, it may have been the case that, where the crime borders on domestic violence, the police were not adequately responsive to the complaints of the women concerned. However, I must stress that due to the heightened instances of death caused as a result of domestic violence, distress calls of such nature are taken very seriously by the emergency services. Thus, we often see a prompt response to same – often within 5 minutes in instances where the location has been clearly indicated (I must stress that the location must be clear and concise for distress calls to be effective… no one can help you if they don’t know where you are). By calling the police there should be an immediate diffusion of the situation. In most cases, the abuser will be carried away. Where the police feels the abuser is too big a man to arrest, at least they would get the complainant out of immediate harm.

Protection orders in Lagos State
The law regulating the application for protection orders is Lagos State’s “A Law to Provide Protection Against Domestic Violence and for Connected Purposes’. Where a protection order is granted, the abuser against whom the protection order is granted is prohibited from the following:
a. committing any act or any further act of domestic violence;
b. enlisting the help of another person to commit any of such act;
c. entering a residence shared by himself and the complainant(s): provided that the court may impose this application only if it appears to be in the best interest of the complainant;
d. entering a specific part of such a shared residence;
e. entering the complainant’s residence;
f. entering the complainant’s place of work;
g. preventing the complainant who ordinarily lives or lived in a shared residence as contemplate in sub-paragraph (c) from entering or remaining in the shared residence or a specified part of the shared residence; or
h. committing any other act as specified in the protection order.

An application for a protection order may be made by applying to the Magistrates or High Courts of Lagos State. The penalty for disobedience of this order is a fine of N100,000 (one hundred thousand Naira) or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 5 years. However, where there has been a flagrant disregard of the law, the courts may impose both the fine and imprisonment.

Criminal Undertaking
There are instances where either: –
a. the abuser has not actually committed an offence, but from the abuser’s conduct, it is clear that there is an imminent threat (actual conduct, text messages, messages passed through third parties etc); or
b. the complainant does not yet wish to file a court action but wants the abuse to stop.

In these instances, the complainant may report the incidences to the police, accompanied with the supporting evidence, and ask the police to invite the abuser to the police station in order to extract an undertaking from the abuser – in which the abuser would be effectively agreeing to abstain from certain conduct and stipulating the abusers guilt should such conduct persist.

Conclusion
Over the years many people have simply lost hope in the system. I have seen instances where some superhuman men believed they were above the law due to their socio-economic status in comparison to the complainants. I sincerely hope that this article helps someone.

We often read of many horrific stories but most people never contemplate the fact that those horrific stories are some people’s realities. In most instances where there has been a publication of someone’s story, they are either dead or severely injured. I’m not going to go into why some choose to stay in abusive relationships, it is not my place to judge someone else’s story. I simply wish to empathise that there is help should anyone need it.

Ivie Omoregie is the Founding Consultant at Skye Advisory. Skye Advisory is a boutique business advisory firm with locations in London, England, as well as Lagos, Nigeria. Skye Advisory offers bespoke Legal, Financial and General Business advisory services to small and micro businesses.  Ivie is a duly qualified lawyer with years of cross border experience in the areas of Corporate Advisory, Energy and Projects, Finance and Litigation.  Ivie is also an active member of the Nigerian Bar Association as well as an avid Business Advisor, Political Analyst and Human Rights promoter.  View more details about her at www.IvieOmoregie.com. Follow her on Twitter @Ivie_Omoregie and Instagram @Skye.Advisory "

15 Comments

  1. Puzzles

    January 6, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks Ivie. I really love how you write.

    But seriously, what has happened to all the cases of domestic violence that were reported here on BN? Have the culprits being brought to Justice?

    1. The doctor husband of the late doctor who claimed she “fell”, what happened?
    2. The husband of the late mother of two who he claimed was cheating on him, what happened?
    3. Ivie’s husband who allegedly broke her legs, what happened?

    The law has failed these women despite the fact that their stories were made public,

    To all the single ladies out there…..
    1. if you are dating a man whose wife is dead, investigate the man well. Know how he treated his late wife and the circumstances surrounding the wife’s death to save yourself from harm. Those monsters are sick. Unless they have gotten serious help, they never change
    2. Your boyfriend is very jealous/possessive/insecure, has little respect for women (look at the way he treats the female members of his family), is prone to hitting or violence or not happy with your success, RUN AWAY. Not walk o. RUN. Don’t deceive yourself that it’s because he really loves you.

    PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE

    • skyhigh

      January 6, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      you are wasting your time if the man is loaded ..she will quickly send pics of diamond engagement ring and dramatic proposal for us to tap into …hiss

  2. Carmen

    January 6, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    About your friend and her boyfriend…YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!!! Please, tell me he didn’t get away with it.

  3. EE

    January 6, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Learn basic self defence, since it won’t be a fair fight, learning exactly where to hit and how to disentangle yourself is extremely important (There’s youtube, so no excuses). Learn to run too, you can only report if you survive.

    It does not need restating that men who hit women are scum.

  4. Donna

    January 6, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Call the police indeed. I do not believe they will come and rescue someone living in a random part of Jos.

    It’s better to say Nigeria does not have a police force abeg.

  5. K. B. Davies

    January 6, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Men are also victims of DV. Domestic violence is a particularly henious and abominable act, and should not be treated or discussed through a subjective lens. Thus any article on the subject should be objective and treat the issue fairly and with parity. Informative article though!

    • Xoxo

      January 6, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Yes men are also victims of DV but let’s not pretend like women aren’t at the receiving end more. When some men start feeling less of a man they think hitting a woman will help them regain that “superiority”. There’s nothing about this article that wasn’t treated fairly.. Many women have died from domestic violence. Let’s not act like women aren’t the ones that suffer more. Let’s not act like the figures are the same when infact majority of men are violent towards their spouses.
      You can equally become an advocate of DV from the male perspective.

  6. Chief

    January 6, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    You see why feminism is not about equality rather superiority,dominance and misanthropic.Feminists have female domestic violence to the front stage and left men behind.No,we need to work on both issues,equal protection.I think that domestic violence is more widespread regarding men than society knows about.Feminists need to address the issue and not to think men aren’t included in the scenario.It’s not just women problem.

    Women are the cause of domestic violence because most women abused men verbally to the point where it hurt men emotionally to lose his temper and strike.Women antagonized the situation..The assumption that female domestic battery is less severe than a man abusing woman because men are on average physically stronger is completely unfounded.Women are violent in nature and more vicious,they can inflict serious damage on a man,they are likely to use weapons.The reason women instigate violence is that men have been taught for a long time now that you don’t hit a woman.Like i used to tell most men never hit a woman first but if she smacked you first,make sure she’s in hospital.

    Moral of the story,men are not the sole perpetrators of DV yet the feminists image of domestic violence is portrayed of a man over woman because men are stereotyped by these feminists as the violent gender.

    • Xoxo

      January 7, 2017 at 12:14 am

      “Women are the cause of domestic violence because most women abused men verbally to the point where it hurt men emotionally to lose his temper and strike.”
      “Women are violent in nature and more vicious,they can inflict serious damage on a man,they are likely to use weapons.”

      I never reply your comments because I’ve noticed you have some deep rooted personal issues and you always feel the need to be superior which equally means you have low self esteem you can’t even admit to or address. But I just have to drop this here your comments always sound stupid and that depicts the type of person you are. Stupid.

    • Chief

      January 7, 2017 at 6:21 am

      I never reply feminists either.No animosity towards women.I think women are awesome but i have issues with feminists,manipulative and controlling women,over ambitious women,bedwenches and swirlers.Anyway, my comments is not for you either.I’m not trolling neither am i here to incite arguments.I’m too busy to be a troll.I’m here to uplift simps,wimps,manginas,wussy men that have been emasculated by feminists and also turn beta males to alpha males.BTW i’m a “TITLED” man,you don’t call an “ELDERLY” and a ” TITLED” man like me “stupid” from where i came from.Don’t be disrespectful to me.It’s an insult to label me as a man with low self esteem.You don’t say that to me.Show some respect to me as a real man.

      Feminism portrays men as evil oppressors and only cares about enslaving men to women.I have been saying this for ages,feminism is a truly ugly ideology encouraging hate,blame and victimization This is the problem with you feminists,you don’t like to be challenged.You want to make your own point and not to listen.Y’all live in your own reality where every man has to obey you and accept what you say as truth.Y’all defy logic.There is no such thing as women being oppressed because each gender has its own unique qualities.Y’all demonstrably ignore male victims of abuse from women.I have noticed how y’all are trying to silence everyone who oppose your views.Y’all are pugnacious women.We all know the difference between normal women and feminists
      .

      BTW We as real men are voicing an opposing view point.Why can’t you accept and respect that?

    • Madam

      January 7, 2017 at 12:38 am

      Please what is the percentage of men who have died as a result of domestic violence in Nigeria.

  7. Chief

    January 7, 2017 at 1:10 am

    I never reply feminist either.No animosity towards women.I think women are awesome but i have issues with feminists,manipulative and controlling women,over ambitious women,bedwenches and swirlers.Anyway, my comments is not for you either.I’m not trolling neither am i here to incite arguments.I’m too busy to be a troll.I’m here to uplift simps,wimps,manginas,wussy men that have been emasculated by feminists and also turn beta males to alpha males.BTW i’m a “TITLED” man,you don’t call an “ELDERLY” and a ” TITLED” man like me “stupid” from where i came from.Don’t be disrespectful to me.It’s an insult to label me as a man with low self esteem.You don’t say that to me.Show some respect to me as a real man.

    Feminism portrays men as evil oppressors and only cares about enslaving men to women.I have been saying this for ages,feminism is a truly ugly ideology encouraging hate,blame and victimization This is the problem with you feminists,you don’t like to be challenged.You want to make your own point and not to listen.Y’all live in your own reality where every man has obey you and accept what you say as truth.Y’all defy logic.There is no such thing as women being oppressed because each gender has its own unique qualities.Y’all demonstrably ignore male victims of abuse from women.I have noticed how y’all are trying to silence everyone who oppose your views.Y’all are pugnacious women.We all know the difference between normal women and feminists.

    BTW We as real men are voicing an opposing view point.Why can’t you accept and respect that?

  8. Chief

    January 7, 2017 at 8:03 am

    BN where is my comment?

  9. Chief

    January 7, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I never reply feminist either.No animosity towards women.I think women are awesome but i have issues with feminists,manipulative and controlling women,over ambitious women,bedwenches and swirlers.Anyway, my comments is not for you either.I’m not trolling neither am i here to incite arguments.I’m too busy to be a troll.I’m here to uplift simps,wimps,manginas,wussy men that have been emasculated by feminists and also turn beta males to alpha males.BTW i’m a “TITLED” man,you don’t call an “ELDERLY” and a ” TITLED” man like me “stupid” from where i came from.Don’t be disrespectful to me.It’s an insult to label me as a man with low self esteem.You don’t say that to me.Show some respect to me as a real man.

    Feminism portrays men as evil oppressors and only cares about enslaving men to women.I have been saying this for ages,feminism is a truly ugly ideology encouraging hate,blame and victimization This is the problem with you feminists,you don’t like to be challenged.You want to make your own point and not to listen.Y’all live in your own reality where every man has obey you and accept what you say as truth.Y’all defy logic.There is no such thing as women being oppressed because each gender has its own unique qualities.Y’all demonstrably ignore male victims of abuse from women.I have noticed how y’all are trying to silence everyone who oppose your views.Y’all are pugnacious women.We all know the difference between normal women and feminists.
    BTW We as real men are voicing an opposing view point.Why can’t you accept and respect that?

  10. Delta princess

    January 9, 2017 at 1:49 am

    Well done ivie. Another well written piece. Love your conclusion. ??????

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