Matthias Olufemi Dada Ojo, Glorial Debrah Akazue, Daniel Andara


Spouse abuse is among the least reported crimes in Nigeria. Social research in Nigeria has not done enough to study this social vice. This study was carried out to bridge some gap in the neglected areas. Therefore, the study investigated problem of spouse abuse and coping strategies among female victims in Gashua community of Yobe state. The study was guided by a combination of conflict and feminist theories, and adopted descriptive survey design.  Data were collected through qualitative method. This involved ten (10) in-depth interviews and ten photographs. The qualitative data were analysed using ethnographic summaries and content analysis. However, the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents were analyzed through frequency and percentage distribution. All respondents agreed that spouse abuse was a common phenomenon in Gashua community, while lack of respect for human dignity; personal experiences and insensitivity to husband responsibilities, were the major causes. Majority of respondents agreed that problem of spouse abuse is a disturbing one because it has increased the cases of divorce, family instability and street children within the community. The entire respondents were worried about spouse abuse because it has encouraged act of prostitution among divorcees, increased social disorder, and badly affected children. Fifty percent of respondent had been physically assaulted in the past by their spouses through beating. Lack of money and food, alcoholism and having quarrel with sister-in-law led to incidences of the physical assault. Thirty percent of respondents have sustained injuries on head, eye and had miscarriage as a result. Analyses show that 70% of respondents had been threatened in the time past with murder, divorce and beating. All the respondents had been verbally assaulted before by their spouses. Strong awareness on dangers inherent in spouse abuse, encouragement to report abuse, interventions by non-government organization, enactments and implementation of strict laws on spouse abuse and constant appraisal of the problem, are recommended.


Spouse abuse, Assault, Beating, Divorce, Gashua Community.

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