(Produced by: Somaliland GBV Coalition)
Domestic violence is any form of maltreatment that takes place between adults and adolescents, who have a relationship in which one individual seeks to assert power and control over the other. Domestic violence has long term effects on family members and often devastating impact to the victims (women and children), mostly, those who live in Environment were domestic violence commonly occurs. At same time domestic violence occurs in every houses, but it common and very high in where mostly poor communities live in, women and children who live in this environment, they face high risk because of the tumultuous atmosphere in their lives.
Community characterized poor economic, low income, and low access to the education and basic public service, existing infrastructure are mainly don’t support the lives of the people who live in this environment, their main income sources depend on the livestock and small business they trade. Women are not able to demonstrate an ability to nurture their children and contribute to the positive development, during early child growing. Women are suffering serious emotional problems and distorted development, which could results breakup of their family.
Somaliland GBV Coalition emphasizing the main root causes of domestic violence, the news article highlighting the effects of domestic violence on the women, and children, the possible prevention and response mechanism they adopt it and existing legal and health services.
The most common feature that causes domestic violence at the family level is an imbalance of power and control. Domestic violence can happen in any age, ethnicity, income and education levels. It is also important to understand in the local context, the individual is abused, if there is individual at risk where Husband or Wife are planning to leave or left already an abusive relationship due to poverty or poor living situation, unemployed, physical or mental disability, and separated or divorced.
In Somaliland, as several studies have identified, the main causes of domestic violence are increasing consumption of the drugs (Khat, alcohol, and others), existing high unemployment rate. as usual domestic violence incidents as “family issues” interviewed women and girls in reported published by Somaliland GBV Coalition in 2017, also pointed out that high rate of unemployment and the increasing the consumption of the Khat, neglecting of the family and changing of the genders role’s, men cause the violence.
Domestic violence has a devastating impact on women and children in the world but has affected largely the children in the IDPs, where poverty and starvation are common, Due to the high level of unemployment rate in the country and increasing consumption of the Khat and other drugs. In the family issues, women go beyond the immediate physical injuries they suffer from illness, and mental disorder, chronic pain and also devastating mental health problem.
The Children who born in an Environment, where domestic violence is high and common, they experience social exclusion, they saw an image of beaten and bruised, those who are of a witness of domestic violence in their family, they get suffer consequences that impact their early child development, and sometimes has devastated effect on their wellbeing. The children that come from violent homes and another part of the country, who are witnessing the abuse of their mother at the hands of their father, experienced mental health issues and those who are witness their fathers abusing their mothers and themselves assaulted. These children are characterized they get suffering from profound behavioral and emotional distress. Mostly the children who grow in community, where the domestic violence are common, may exhibit a host of adverse behaviors and emotional, most of them they drop out their schools and join the gangs, they addicted the drugs and chewing the Khat, sometimes they become robbery and harm other people in the communities. Child neglecting is also common in the violent family, where mothers are abused by fathers, this neglecting resulted, and a number of the children miss their child’s rights, including nurturing, caring, protecting and access to the education. The children who witness domestic violence exhibit a behaviors changes and they get emotional to response domestic violence and may get fear, guilt, shame, and sometimes sleeping disturbance, poor learning, the daily mood they become sadness, anger and depression, their mothers also are become incapable to prevent the violence.
Mostly, women adopted coping mechanisms their domestic problem through remaining in an abusive relationship by supporting the family of the women, and other women highlighted they leave it, but sometimes it brings risk or harm benefits for their children and respecting their family members and friend. They also described in everyday life to keep themselves and children as safe as possible. It’s also common for women who have to get victimized, they deal with their partner’s behaviors, such as normalizing, accepting the abuse, and keeping the peace or blaming themselves. Some women have women groups that support the women affected by domestic violence and those who are suffering from the family problem by providing a small incentive to go with a medical checkup or feed their children.
People engaged the child development believes that children who are raised in abusive homes and community learn that violence is an effective way to resolve conflicts and problems for their entire life. It’s common in Somali communities, children who born in violent homes have a higher risk of drug abuse for using alcohol, street living, and Khat using.
The children and women disclosed any form of domestic violence should have immediate support from their families and neighbor, government and other institutions who provide psychosocial and health services. Women who have intimate violence, the service providers should ensure confidentiality, and children who have witnessed domestic violence their families, school teachers, and colleagues should be non-judgmental and supportive, by providing practical care and supportive response. The parent should listen to the children who are experiences domestic violence and care from sensitive topics including their violent history. A parent should assist the children safe and provide mobilization and support.