Two lawyers, Toyin Ojo and Bola Ajayi, in Lagos, on Wednesday, have linked the recent increase in spousal killings in the country to domestic violence.
The lawyers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews said that domestic violence was the major factor responsible for the killings, adding that women were mostly the victims.
Mrs Ojo said that most women killed by their husbands had been physically abused before the murder.
“There have been cases of domestic violence between the spouses prior to the death. Most women that kill their husbands reacted to the accumulated abuse that the husbands have subjected them to”, she said.
She urged parents and religious leaders to stop advising couples to remain in abusive marriages.
“Some spouses are advised to continue to endure the abuse and be prayerful for God’s intervention. Women should have been encouraged to leave abusive marriages, in order to avert incidences of killings,” Mrs Ojo said.
According to her, most of the killings were accidental, the perpetrators only wanted to use the weapons to defend themselves only for their intentions to go wrong.
In a similar vein, Mrs Ajayi said that some men believed they must be violent in order to be respected by their wives so as not to be seen as being weak.
She said that childhood experience of violence and abuse was also responsible for homicide.
“Men who were abused in their childhood or observed their fathers abusing their mothers are at greater risk for abusing their wives.”
She advised that psychological assessments of intending couples be conducted before marriage, in order to curb the menace.
Mrs Ajayi urged the police to always attend to victims of spousal abuse and not to dismiss and consider it as a family matter.
She also listed a history of stalking, infidelity, lack of trust and insecurity as other factors of spousal killings.