Abstract: The main objective of the study was to investigate the influence of social media in raising awareness on domestic violence in Lagos. This study was anchored on Muted Group Theory, Family Systems Theory and Feminist Theory. A survey research method was adopted while questionnaire was used to elicit responses from the respondents within Lagos using quota sampling technique. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage) while the data were presented with the aid of tables. The study finds out that significant number of the respondents (94.7%) said they never be victims of domestic violence/abuse. Although, many of the respondents (73.3%) acknowledged that the usage of social media in raising awareness of and reporting domestic abuse is high. Equally, majority of the respondents (42.9%) were of the opinion that sharing of domestic abuse via social media usually attracts condemnation and public outcry while the majority of the respondents (46.7%) admitted that social media platforms is used to enhance social and behavioral change interventions to prevent and address domestic violence to a high extent. Similarly, majority of the respondents (40.5%) frequently exposed to domestic violence through Facebook and finally, majority of respondents (49.6%) admitted that they often come across campaigns against domestic violence on social media. The study recommended that campaigns should be developed by NGOs and the government to compel victims of abuse to report it on social media platforms, which will result in the prosecution of those responsible.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study________________________________________1
1.2 Statement of the Problem _______________________________________4
1.3 Objectives of the Study_________________________________________5
1.4 Research Questions____________________________________________5
1.5 Significance of the Study________________________________________6
1.6 Scope of the Study____________________________________________7
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms _________________________________7
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Conceptual Review___________________________________________9
2.2 Empirical Studies____________________________________________23
2.3 Theoretical Framework_______________________________________27
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design____________________________________________33
3.2 Research Method___________________________________________33
3.3 Study Population___________________________________________34
3.4 Sample Size ________________________________________________35
3.5 Sampling Technique _________________________________________36
3.6 Instrument for Data Collection__________________________________37
3.7 Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument____________________ 37
3.8 Data Collection Process_______________________________________37
3.9 Method of Data Analysis______________________________________37
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
4.1 Demographic Variables Analysis of Respondents____________________39
4.2 Analysis of Research Questions Related Variables___________________39
4.2 Discussion of Findings_________________________________________48
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND LIMITATIONS
5.2. Conclusions ________________________________________________51
5.3 Recommendations ___________________________________________52
5.4 Limitations to the Study_______________________________________54
1.1 Background to the Study
There have been horrifying stories of domestic violence in Nigerian society often daily. When listening to the radio, watching TV, reading the newspaper, or even browsing blogs and social media, you might hear about a husband killing his wife or vice versa if the news is not about cults, prostitution, or factories that make babies (Ubong, 2018).
In some instance, it might involve a father assaulting his daughter sexually to gain knowledge about her. Nigerian women, young girls, and children have experienced barter rape and even murder at the hands of members of their own family for alleged transgressions ranging from failing to prepare meals on time to having family members visit them without their husband’s permission (Ubong, 2018).
Many families, especially women, suffer chemical and acid attacks by their spouses or partners, which result in excruciating pain or disfigurement and occasionally even result in the victims’ deaths. (Baba and Murray, 2017). Physical, sexual, emotional, economic, and psychological abuse are all forms of domestic violence that impact all social groups in society. (Ukoima, Dimkpa and Mina, 2020).
It should be noted that domestic violence (domestic abuse) refers to any form of abuse or violence that occurs within a domestic relationship, such as between spouses, partners, family members, or roommates. It takes many forms, including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse (Dryden-Edwards, 2022). Domestic violence can have severe and lasting effects on the health and well-being of those who experience it, and it is a serious problem that affects people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds especially women and children (Rivara, Adhia, Lyons, and Massey, 2019).
However, domestic violence is a serious issue in Nigeria, as it is in many other countries around the world. In Nigeria, domestic violence can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse (Oluremi, 2015). In Nigeria, cultural and societal factors contribute to the high rates of domestic violence. Traditional gender roles and expectations can lead to a belief that men have the right to control and dominate their partners. Additionally, there can be a lack of awareness and understanding of what constitutes domestic violence, and a reluctance to report it due to fear of societal stigma or lack of trust in the criminal justice system (Rivara, Adhia, Lyons, and Massey, 2019).
The Nigerian government has taken steps to address domestic violence, including enacting laws such as the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act (VAPP) which was signed into law in 2015, and it criminalizes all forms of violence against persons and provides for the protection and support of victims. However, enforcement of these laws can be inconsistent, and access to support services for survivors of domestic violence remains limited in many areas of the country (Oluremi, 2015).
Some common forms of domestic violence include but not limited to: Physical abuse: hitting, slapping, pushing, or other forms of physical violence, Sexual abuse: forcing or coercing someone into sexual acts, Emotional abuse: verbal abuse, manipulation, gaslighting, or other forms of psychological manipulation, Economic abuse: controlling access to money or resources, or preventing someone from working (Arizona Coalition, 2023).
Victims of domestic violence may experience a wide range of physical and emotional effects, including injuries, trauma, depression, and anxiety. It’s important for anyone experiencing domestic violence to seek help and support. There are many resources available, including hotlines, shelters, counseling, and legal services. It’s also important to remember that leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous, and it’s important to have a safety plan in place (Arizona Coalition, 2023).
In the meantime, improvements in information and communication technology, particularly social media that allow for self-publishing, have made it possible for victims, particularly women, to express what they are going through in texts, photos, and videos in order to elicit public condemnation, criticism and, consequently, receive the desired judgment (Philip, 2016). Thus, social media can be a valuable tool for reporting domestic violence, as it allows individuals to share their experiences and raise awareness about the issue. Many survivors of domestic violence may not feel comfortable reporting the abuse to authorities or seeking help in person, but social media can provide a way for them to speak out anonymously and connect with others who have gone through similar experiences (Philip, 2016).
However, it’s important to note that social media reporting of domestic violence should be done with caution. It’s important for individuals to be mindful of their own safety when sharing personal information online, and to be aware that not all information shared on social media is accurate or trustworthy. Additionally, reporting domestic violence on social media may not always result in immediate action, and it’s important to have a plan in place for seeking help and support. Hence, this study is on the thrust to investigate the influence of social media awareness and reporting on domestic violence particularly among Lagos residents.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Numerous interventions have been deployed to address the persistent domestic violence, particularly against women, in Nigeria and elsewhere. These efforts don’t seem to have done enough to stop the threat. These interventions, among others, include but are not limited to advocacy, campaigns, education, legal rulings, and outright punishment.
However, some of the effects of domestic violence includes physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse. In various ways, in Nigeria, women are frequently the targets of this antisocial behavior. Many human rights and civil society organizations, as well as concerned individuals, have introduced a number of initiatives to combat this societal ill that has primarily endangered women and children. The social media is anticipated to play a big part in bringing attention to cases of sexual violence by amplifying the voices of those who are fighting against it and by acting as a vital tool for surveillance.
Meanwhile, advancement in information and communication technology particularly social media which offer self-publishing opportunity have enabled victims especially women to share their stories in texts, photos and video to express what they are experiencing to arose public condemnation, criticism and by extension getting the desire judgement but to what extent has social media been effectively used and generate the desire judgement. It is against this background that this study is on the thrust to investigate the influence of social media in raising awareness on domestic violence particularly among Lagos residents.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the influence of social media in raising awareness on domestic violence while the specific objectives include to:
- to assess the degree to which social media is being used to raise awareness of and report domestic abuse among Lagos residents.
- To ascertain how social media have contributed to raising awareness of domestic violence among Lagos residents.
- ascertain the extent to which social media platforms can improve social and behavioral change intervention to prevent and address domestic violence?
- Identify the social media site that Lagos residents often use to report domestic violence.
1.4 Research Questions
In order to explicate the aforementioned objectives, the listed questions provide answers to the research problem:
- To what extent has social media been used to raise awareness of and report domestic abuse among Lagos residents?
- How have social media contributed to raising awareness of domestic violence among Lagos residents?
- To what extent can social media platforms improve social and behavioral change intervention to prevent and address domestic violence?
- What social media site often use to report domestic violence among Lagos residents?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study investigates the influence of social media in raising awareness on domestic violence. Thus, the findings of this study will make a substantial contribution to the body of knowledge already available in the fields of mass communication, new media, sociology, psychology and other related fields. Through this study’s findings, the individuals will specifically recognize and comprehend the effective use of social media for domestic violence reportage among other things. Equally, the findings will establish the place of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Tiktok and Snapchat among others in this 21st century in reporting cases of domestic violence and it will therefore awaken the consciousness of social media users on the importance of the use of social media in the society.
Moreover, by articulating figures and other issues related to domestic violence as reported by social media, the public can understand and appreciate the seriousness of that Anti social behaviour. In addition, the study will provide adequate information to the government by revealing different cases of domestic violence in the country and as well provide necessary solutions to the government on the various ways by which the victims of domestic violence can be helped, mot especially, by establishing rehabilitation homes that will help their social and psychological lives. Also, this study will be beneficial to students, adults and researchers of mass communication and by extension sociology as it is a material for academic exercise; it will as well serve as a foundation upon which further research can be conducted.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study which investigates influence of social media in raising awareness on domestic violence has been narrowed in scope to residence of Ikeja Lagos Metropolis. Thus, the geographical scope of this study shall be within Lagos state. The choice of residents of Yenagoa is due to their proximity to the researcher, inadequate time to study the people living in Lagos State talk less of Nigeria among other logistics. Also, the demographic factors of the respondents was carefully study before the administration of research instruments such factors include: age, gender, academic level e.t.c
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Influence: In this research, this refers to impact or the contribution of social media to the reportage of domestic violence particularly among the residence of Ikeja in Lagos state.
Social Media Awareness: In this study, social media awareness simply refers to the use of social media in sharing information about domestic violence including various comments it generates.
Reporting: In this research, reporting means the act of posting or sharing domestic violence and it related on social media usually by victims or relatives.
Domestic Violence: In this study, domestic violence entails any form of abuse or violence that occurs within a domestic relationship, such as between spouses, partners, family members, or roommates. It can take many forms, including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse.