GBV: Men also condone violence, deserve protection — Lawyer

Rights Activist and Lawyer, Spurgeon Ataene, has called for equal protection of boys
and men against violence as they also suffer Gender-Based Violence (GBV) as women, but unnoticed.

He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday, as the world commemorates
the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls.

NAN reports that the 16 days global campaign runs from Nov. 25, which is the International Day for the Elimination of
Violence Against Women until Dec. 10, which is Human Rights Day.

The global initiative is to call for the elimination of GBV by raising awareness to the devastating impact of such violence
on women and children, and the social fabric of the society.

The campaign has “UNITE! Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls” as the theme for the 2023 /// as its theme for 2023.

The rights activist, however, said violence whether against men or women is deeply rooted in one’s cultural upbringing.

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He said that whereas in most African climes, men are seen as lords over their wives to the extent that women dared not speak when their husbands talked,
same was also the case with some women nowadays.

Ataene blamed violence against men on the search for intellectual and financial independence by some women, which put them at par with their husbands in the society.

He said that “violence against men is often triggered by the ability of some women to contribute to the family wellbeing, who stand at equal level with men in running the home.”

According to him, the outcome of such total involvement by wives is violence at the slightest opportunity, ranging from mental and emotional torture, too often physical abuse.

“Violence becomes widespread when women started on a path of intellectual independence wherein they not only contribute ideas but stand toe-to-toe with men in respect of delivery of essentials in the home.

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“It is also observed that the more intellectually endowed a woman is, the more independent she will continue to be and behave.

“The scenario also influences the women treating their less intellectually endowed husbands like trash, to the extent that such husbands perform the roles of their wives in the home.

“Violence is therefore, a direct consequence of lack of subjugation to the control of men with more enlightenment and education in a globalised world.”

“You find that these type of women now “marry” their husbands or give instructions to them which if they flout, may result in violence, especially if the men are physically and mentally weak.”

On the way forward, Ataene urged mutual respect and a decent culture.

According to him, women must understand that no matter how successful they are, they cannot be the husbands in the home.

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“Violence against men or women is a function of the illusory economic and mental success, which must be used going forward, as a point of reference when discussing peace in every home.

“It should be an advantage rather than a disadvantage that one has acquired more knowledge and economic independence than his or her spouse.

“Decent culture also plays a big role in curtailing violence; if the culture is that of wanton disrespect to the opposite sex, then children will grow up thinking it is the right thing to be insolent,” he said

He added that it behoved on all parties concerned to show mutual respect and live harmoniously with one another.

“That way, a violence-free society will emerge without too much reliance on the legal framework against gender based violence.

“So, from schools and colleges, gender based violence should be inculcated into the curriculum, emphasising love and mutual respect for the overall good of society,” he added.

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