Sep 25, 2017

Acts considered domestic violence in Lagos | Adesuwa Omozusi

Acts characterized as Domestic Violence under the Domestic Violence Law of Lagos, 2007. 

The occurrence of domestic violence in Lagos is on the increase, initially it was somewhat considered a subtle issue, but with the rate of publications made daily; it will interest you to know the actions that constitute Domestic Violence in Lagos State.

The Domestic Violence law of Lagos was enacted in 2007. Section 18(1) (g) provides a list of actions that can be characterised as Domestic Violence in the state. They are as follows:

Ø Physical abuse; any act or threatened act of physical violence towards the person.
Ø Sexual abuse exploitation including but not limited to rape, incest and sexual assault; any conduct that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the sexual integrity, or dignity of the victim.
Ø Starvation;
Ø Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse; means  a  pattern   of                                  degrading or humiliating conduct towards a complainant, including––
i.                  repeated insults, ridicule or name calling as to  cause  emotional pain;
ii.                repeated threats to cause emotional pain; or
iii. repeated exhibition of obsessive possessiveness or  jealousy                                                       which  constitute  a  serious   invasion   of    the   complainant’s                                                           privacy, liberty, integrity or security;
Ø Economic abuse and exploitation; refers to:
i.                   the unreasonable deprivation of economic or financial resources to which a complainant is entitled  under the Law  or  which  the complainant  requires  out  of  necessity,   including   household  necessities for the complainant, and mortgage bond  repayments or payment of rent in respect of the shared residence; or
ii.                the unreasonably  disposal or  seizure  of  household   effects  or  other  property  in   which   the   complainant   has   an   interest   including any equitable; or legal interest;
Ø Denial of basic education;
Ø Intimidation; means  uttering  or  conveying  a  threat,  or  causing  a   complainant to receive a threat, which induces fear, anxiety;  
Ø Harassment; means engaging in a pattern of conduct that induces  the fear of harm to a complainant including;
i.                 repeatedly watching, or loitering outside of or near the building or place where the complainant resides,   works,   carries   on     business, studies and place of recreation after studies.
ii.           repeatedly making telephone calls or inducing another person to  make  telephone  calls  to  the  complainant,   whether   or   not  conversation ensues;
iii.   repeatedly sending, delivering or causing the delivery of letters,                                                        telegrams,   packages,   facsimiles,  electronic   mail   or   other                                                        objects to the complainant;
Ø Stalking; means  repeatedly  following,   pursuing,  or  accosting  the  victim;
Ø Hazardous attack including acid both with offensive or  Poisonous substance;
Ø Damage to property; means the  wilful  damaging  or  destruction  of                                   property belonging to a complainant or in which the complainant  has a                                      vested interest, whether legal or equitable;    
Ø Entry into the complainant’s  residence  without  consent   where   the parties do not share the same residence; or
Ø  Any   other   controlling    or    abusive    behaviour    towards    a                                                  complainant, where such conduct harms or may cause imminent                                                       harm to the safety, health or well-being of the complainant; 
Ø Deprivation.
The law is not gender specific as it relates to man, woman and child. There must be a domestic relationship between the parties for it to suffice.

A Domestic relationship such as marriage, cohabitation, dating or customary relationship, family member or domestic staff is sufficient.

Adesuwa Omozusi is an Associate at Cowrie Partners