The Crusaders’ Advocacy Initiative, CAI, a Non-Governmental Organisation, has urged Inspector General of Police, IGP, Alkali Usman to create a Special Police Department to forestall potential domestic violence in Nigerian homes.
The President of CAI, Cletus Uwakina, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
Mr Uwakina, a rights activist, said the call became necessary given the widely reported death of the popular gospel singer Osinachi Nwachukwu, whose death was linked to domestic violence alleged occasioned by her husband Peter Nwachukwu.
“It has become imperative to urge for the establishment of a Special Unit in the Police Force that is capable of responding to issues of potential violence in homes and families.
“It is expected that the creation of this new formation will engender an opportunity for potential victims of domestic violence and abuse to pick up their phones at once and call the police formation.
“It is to enable them to intervene before the issue degenerates and escalates to a situation of full-fledged violence.
“Where a party to a disagreement in a family suspects that it is about to degenerate into a state of chaos he or she will be at liberty to call the police for quick response,” Mr Uwakina explained.
This, he noted, would avert impending violence that could lead to grievous bodily harm or death of any of the parties involved.
According to him, domestic violence, although not peculiar to Nigeria alone, is gradually assuming a horrendous dimension in the society.
“In some cultures, it is permissible and justified for a husband to violate a wife domestically without consequences.
“However, it is the poverty of reasoning for anybody to think or reduce the question of domestic violence to husband and wife affair or to a situation where a husband beats up his wife.
“As a lawyer in practice, who is ethically bound by the rules and ethics of confidentiality of clients, I can confidently state that so many men are victims of domestic violence.
“But they cannot say it out either for peace to reign in their homes or for the shame of being mocked by society and their fellow men as weak, feeble and unable to control their homes.”
He said domestic violence was a violation of basic human rights that include battering of intimate partners, sexual abuse of children, marital rape and traditional practices that are harmful to both men and women among others.
Mr Uwakina expressed concern that the arrest and prosecution of culprits by the police in accordance with the laws in most situations had not proved to be a solution, as acts of domestic violence seemed unabating.
According to him, the solution to domestic violence is not all about arresting and prosecuting offenders who probably caused the death of their victims, but averting the occurrence and possible death of potential victims of domestic violence.
He said the formation of a police department solely dedicated to issues of domestic violence and other related matters was important in preventing the dangers of domestic violence.
“Such police formation, when instituted must be present in every division of the Police Force nationwide and must be funded and empowered with capacity for immediate and quick response.
“Human life is sacred and priceless and must be protected without compromise.
“The only justification for not preventing the loss of a human life, when one can do so, is that it could result in the loss of even more lives.
“I call on the Inspector General of Police to immediately facilitate the creation of a special police department to deal with issues of domestic violence and related matters.”