The death of Gospel Singer, Oshinachi Nwachukwu, allegedly from domestic violence complications has taken a new twist as a group under the aegis, of Mothers Against Domestic Violence (MoAdV), joined her voice with millions of people around the world to condemn strong terms, the death of the renowned gospel artist, adding that that the next pandemic, after COVID-19 is domestic violence, which must be stopped at all cost.
The group also call for alleviation of hurt, pain and suffering from domestic abuse and to provide emotional health support and enhancement to all mothers, adding that its vision is to end the hurt, emotional, financial, physical, psychological, social, and in all its forms and ramifications by 2030.
Speaking at the Inauguration of MoAdV, which was held virtually in Lagos, Pharm. Bisi Bright, Convener of MoAdV and Chief Executive Officer of LiveWell Initiative (LWI), a self-sustaining non-profit organisation, said the founding of the group was a fallout of the heightened domestic violence in the country, adding that the recent passing of the popular gospel artiste, Osinachi further motivated the launch of the initiative.
According to Bright, a Clinical Pharmacist, Public Health Practitioner, Social Entrepreneur, Researcher, Lecturer, Convener of MoAdV and Chief Executive Officer of LiveWell Initiative (LWI), domestic violence is our business and we must mind it.
The project has been on the table for a while, and it is important because the next pandemic would be domestic violence if care is not taken, and LWI was deliberate in shattering the trend, so we call on others out there to come and join us in other to prevent the ‘next pandemic’, She said.
Bisi Bright, however, threw an insight into the next steps, asking the elite public and corporate bodies to volunteer and concede a self-contained room or safe abode for transit safe havens for domestically abused women.
In her keynote address at the programme, Mrs Adeola Azeez, Lawyer, Social Entrepreneur, and Co-founder, of Women in Business administration and politics, WIMBIZ, noted that according to the World Health Organization, domestic violence is defined as the range of sexually, psychologically, and physically coercive acts against women by current or former male intimate partners, adding that the United Nations defined it as a pattern of behaviour in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
She added that in recent times, Nigeria has recorded a surge in cases of domestic violence, quoting a poll conducted by NOIPolls Limited and Project Alert, she disclosed that 54 per cent of Nigerians have either suffered from one form of domestic violence or know someone who has suffered from it.
She further added that the NOIPoll report also stated that 75 per cent of the victims are women, while men and children were placed at 16 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. “In another report by the World Health Organization, it was stated that in some parts of the world, one-half of women have experienced domestic violence”.
Azeez, who doubles as the Matron of MoAdV, however, tasked all parents that they have enormous responsibility to ensure that they raise children that will not continue the circle, adding that the society suffers from the effect of failed parenting, hence, the need to take parenting responsibilities seriously.
She said that society should guard against Muscle-flexing Monsters (wife beaters) out there. “
“How many more lives do we have to lose before we all fight vehemently against this? Do we sit still and watch our precious sisters, wives, mothers, aunties, and friends suffer without lending a helping hand? We cannot act like it’s none of our business. It is our business and we must mind it.
She continued, “Posterity will remember the Live Well Initiative for bringing this issue to the fore. It will also remember us for the role we play to put an end to domestic violence in Nigeria. Together, let’s join hands with Live Well Initiative to put an end to domestic violence and make our society a better and safer place for women,” she said.
Also speaking on a topic, “Towards Emotional Stability in Marriage”, Dr Olajumoke Koyejo, a Mental and Emotional Health Specialist and Consultant Psychiatrist, noted that depression is the leading cause of disease-related disability among women, adding that it is much more common among childbearing women than men, with female and male risk ratios roughly 2:1, saying being married as compared with being single is an independently associated with high risk for common mental disorder in women.
While advising women to know and be mindful of their game in marriage, she further noted that marriage is one of the objectives of life, whose focus must not be lost, adding that they should keep their self-worth, know the limitation of their partners as humans, improve on their self-esteem, and know that it takes two to tango.
Speaking in the same vein, the duo of Mrs Bimpe Balogun, Chairman, Audit Committee of Zenith Bank Plc and ‘Financial Hygiene expert, and Mrs Bolade Awosan, a Therapist and Counsellor, noted that the challenge of saying No is squarely up to women, adding that violence against women in Nigeria is almost accepted as a fact of life in some cultures that perceive women as the property of their husbands.
According to the duo, wife beaters are monsters, not just monsters, but muscle-flexing monsters, which must be stopped at all cost, emphasising the importance of financial hygiene for women, and reiterating the need for every woman to have savings for a rainy day.
The high point of the programme was the appointment of officers for the group, and they are Dr Jumoke Koyejo, clinical director; Tosin Adeosun, operations manager; Mr Jonathan Adinya, coordinator, North; Favor Chukwumam, coordinator, South; Mrs Sandra Patrick, Physical Therapy coach; Pharm. Bisi Bright, convener, and Mrs Adeola Azeez, as matron.