Martyrs of socialisation: Understanding the causes of domestic violence through women’s narratives in Ghana and Nigeria

  • Abena Asefuaba Yalley
  • Molatokunbo Seunfunmi Olutayo
  • Adedeji Victor Adebayo


Domestic violence (DV) is a pervasive social problem found across all strata of society worldwide. Although literature on DV abounds, some causes of DV in the African context remain unconventional. This study explores some of the factors that give rise to DV in Africa through the narratives of victims and police officers in selected regions in Ghana and Nigeria. Specifically, in-depth interviews were conducted with 100 female, 30 police officers while ethnographic observation was also undertaken in the Police Stations. Findings reveal a cultural situation where people hold the perception that DV results from disobedience to religious doctrines on marriage as well as spiritual and supernatural manipulations, with women’s economic (in)dependence being the external expression of these causes. Using such prisms, women victims themselves were sometimes identified as being the causes of their own woes.


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eISSN: 1596-9231