Acts considered domestic violence in Lagos | Adesuwa Omozusi

Acts considered domestic violence in Lagos | Adesuwa Omozusi

Acts characterized as Domestic Violence
under the Domestic Violence Law of Lagos, 2007. 

occurrence of domestic violence in Lagos is on the increase, initially it was somewhat
considered a subtle issue, but with the rate of publications made daily; it
will interest you to know the actions that constitute Domestic Violence in
Lagos State.

Domestic Violence law of Lagos was enacted in 2007. Section 18(1) (g) provides
a list of actions that can be characterised as Domestic Violence in the state.
They are as follows:

Ø Physical
abuse; any act or threatened act of physical violence towards the person.
Ø Sexual
abuse exploitation including but not limited to rape, incest and sexual
assault; any conduct that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates
the sexual integrity, or dignity of the victim.
Ø Starvation;
Ø Emotional,
verbal and psychological abuse; means 
a  pattern   of    
or humiliating conduct towards a complainant, including––
i.                  repeated insults, ridicule
or name calling as to  cause  emotional pain;
repeated threats to cause
emotional pain; or
iii. repeated exhibition of
obsessive possessiveness or 
which  constitute  a 
serious   invasion   of    the   complainant’s                                                          
privacy, liberty, integrity or security;
Ø Economic
abuse and exploitation; refers to:
the unreasonable
deprivation of economic or financial resources to which a complainant is entitled  under the Law 
or  which  the complainant  requires 
out  of  necessity,  
including   household  necessities for the complainant, and mortgage
bond  repayments or payment of rent in
respect of the shared residence; or
the unreasonably  disposal or 
seizure  of  household  
effects  or  other 
property  in   which  
the   complainant   has  
an   interest   including any equitable; or legal interest;
Ø Denial
of basic education;
Ø Intimidation;
means  uttering  or 
conveying  a  threat, 
or  causing  a   complainant to receive a threat, which
induces fear, anxiety;  
Ø Harassment;
means engaging in a pattern of conduct that induces  the fear of harm to a complainant including;
i.                 repeatedly watching, or
loitering outside of or near the building or place where the complainant
resides,   works,   carries  
on     business, studies and place
of recreation after studies.
ii.           repeatedly making
telephone calls or inducing another person to 
make  telephone  calls 
to  the  complainant,  
whether   or   not 
conversation ensues;
iii.   repeatedly sending,
delivering or causing the delivery of letters,                                                       
telegrams,   packages,   facsimiles, 
electronic   mail   or  
 objects to the complainant;
Ø Stalking;
means  repeatedly  following,  
pursuing,  or  accosting 
the  victim;
Ø Hazardous
attack including acid both with offensive or 
Poisonous substance;
Ø Damage
to property; means the  wilful  damaging 
or  destruction  of                                   property
belonging to a complainant or in which the complainant  has a                                      vested
interest, whether legal or equitable;    
Ø Entry
into the complainant’s  residence  without 
consent   where   the parties do not share the same residence;
Ø  Any  
other   controlling    or   
abusive    behaviour    towards   
complainant, where such conduct harms or may cause imminent                                                      
harm to the safety, health or well-being of the complainant; 
Ø Deprivation.
law is not gender specific as it relates to man, woman and child. There must be
a domestic relationship between the parties for it to suffice.

Domestic relationship such as marriage, cohabitation, dating or customary
relationship, family member or domestic staff is sufficient.

Adesuwa Omozusi is an Associate at Cowrie Partners


Credits –
have read about many victims of domestic violence, seen photos of bruised women
and heard of the psychological effects it has on the personalities of these
victims. The fear it creates in their minds and in extreme circumstances, the
death of such victims. Domestic violence is a monster; it is wrong and should
be prohibited by all means.
common to hear friends and family members asking one to endure and bear with it
or better yet pray that the husband turns a new leaf and begins to see his wife
as a partner rather than a punching bag. Let’s not forget wives who also beat
their husbands, though they are a minority. In family courts today, domestic
violence is one of the many grounds upon which spouses seek dissolution of
their marriages.

the years, there has been a call for decisive legislation to deal with domestic
violence in Nigeria and finally its here. Section
of the Violence Against Persons Act
prohibits spousal battery and provides thus:
A person who batters his or her spouse commits an offence and is liable on
conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not
exceeding N200, 000 or both.”  
law is most welcome by advocates against domestic violence and a relief to
victims who must now be informed that there is a law to check their plight. The
law further states that an attempt to commit the act of spousal battery also
attracts imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding N100,000
or both. Inciting another to commit the offence also attracts a jail term not
exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding N200, 000 or both. Same goes for an
accessory after the fact who aids another who has committed an act of spousal
this legislation is a step in the right direction, spouses need to be informed
and most especially supported. The fear of public opinion and also the
protection of the children or family name may prevent victims of domestic
violence from speaking out while they suffer in silence. Such people must
understand that there is no need for shame, rather they should hold their heads
up high for they are survivors, it’s the wrestler of a spouse that should be
– If you beat your spouse or know anyone who is a victim of domestic violence,
share this link with them and support them, you could be saving their lives.