Domestic Homicide in Nigeria: Sociopsychological Profiles of Men Who Killed Their Wives

Friday, 20 July 2018: 09:04
Oral Presentation
Richard ABORISADE, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria
Abimbola SHONTAN, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria
Without gainsaying, there has been a marked increase in the incidences of domestic homicide in Nigeria in recent times. Meanwhile, research on family violence has vigorously focused on spousal abuse, trends and prevalence of domestic violence, and risk factors, while the most severe of violence-the killing of a spouse, has not received an equal amount of attention. Available statistics show that men are more culpable in abusing their wives to the point of death. Leaning on eclectic adoption of social learning, personality, and marital power theories, this present study examined the psychological factors and sociological background of men who have been charged and convicted of killing their wives as a result of domestic conflict. Qualitative analysis of official demographic and offence history data, and in-depth interviews of 21 purposively selected male offenders of spousal homicide in celled housing units in Kirikiri Maximum, Kirikiri Female and Ikoyi Prisons, Lagos State, revealed that childhood experience of violence and abuse is strongly connected with perception and perpetration of violence in marital life. The events leading to the death of spouses suggested that the killings were accidental rather than premeditated, however, the use of dangerous weapons were prevalent. There is a clear empirical evidence to suggest that qualitatively, men who kill their spouses do not differ greatly from those who use nonlethal violence. It is suggested that parents, religious leaders and significant others should be more attentive to situations between couples and base their interventions on the wellbeing of the couples rather than religious dictates and social desirability alone. It is essential that an understanding of spousal homicide is continuously pursued and that steps are taken to reduce the likelihood of spousal homicide—the final abuse.