Violence against children in Nigeria: Child battering in focus
Violence against children is increasing gaining momentum every day. In the society, the perpetrators are regrettably those who ordinarily should protect the interest of the child; these include parents, guardians, teachers, friends, and elders in the society. In Nigeria, parents and guardians have the rights to exercise control and supervision over the conduct of their children and wards, and thus can issue correction and disciplinary actions on the child. Consequently, children are corrected by beating mainly. This, the society believe is important in ensuring that children conform to the usual norms and values of the society. In the traditional society, excessive beating could be controlled by the child running to any available elder and that would stop the beating; however, with urban migration that would no longer be obtainable. This work examines violence against children in Nigeria, focusing on child battering. This paper therefore discusses the incidences of child battering in Nigeria, its consequences and the right approach to curb such violence in Nigeria. The doctrinal method is adopted in this work. Our findings include: child battering is rampart today in our homes, school, churches, communities etc. Children are battered in Nigeria based on the premise that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. This in turn has resulted in the death of children, disfiguring of children, psychological imbalance in some children, depression in some children, injuries, thoughts of suicide and so on. Consequently, we recommend, among others, government policies and strategies to end violence against children in Nigeria, and ensure the adoption and implementation of laws concerning the child in all States of the Federation, as well as public education and awareness for the perpetrators and the children alike by government, civil society, institutions, and organisations campaigning for the rights of the child.
Key words: Violence, Child, Battering, Parents, Guardians, Teachers.