Domestic violence is a violation of fundamental human rights and must not be encouraged in any society. Its rates have reached peaks in recent years as people are getting more aggressive for reasons best known to themselves. Though the term is usually used to describe violence against women and children, there have been cases where men have been abused by their children or spouses.

Domestic violence is considered a crime under the constitutions of many nations, but most often, the perpetrators go unpunished, encouraging others to follow in their steps. This is a global issue and must be dealt with at every level of society; national, regional, community, family and even at the household level. Measures must be taken to deter people from engaging in it and also protecting the victims of such abuse.

A stiffer punishment must be meted out to the perpetrators so as to deter others from abusing their spouses and children. The current punishments are just a few months in jail or a small fine which is not deterrent enough. It is sad to note that, some of the abusers are punished but they go back committing the offense again and again. If a person is to spend a few years in jail for just beating a spouse or child the probability of the person repeating it is very low.

Another way of preventing domestic violence is to put is place measures that encourage the victims to be able to come out and report their abusers. Victims should have the assurance that if they report, something will be done. The justice system comes in here. It must make sure that, all perpetrators of domestic violence are brought to book as soon as possible. Victims must also be given some protection; physical, psychological, emotional or financial if the need be. Most victims of domestic violence risk more abuse when they have been found to have reported the crime and so must be offered physical protection in the form of escorts or temporal accommodation till the perpetrator is brought to book. Counseling may help heal their emotional and psychological traumas.

Public education is very crucial in preventing domestic violence. There are many people, especially men who still believe that, a spouse or child is supposed to be beaten when they are offended by them. The public must be educated on how wrong it is, what it does to the victims and the punishments offenders are likely to face. This may help eliminate primitive cultural beliefs that spouses, for that matter women must be beaten or abused when they go wrong.

Research has shown that, there is a relationship between substance and domestic violence, and therefore, drug and alcohol use must be discouraged in the society. Men or women who take a alcohol and other hard drugs are found to be more abusive than the more sober ones. Most of the abuses reported also occur under the influence of these drugs. Sale of alcohol must therefore be regulated and restricted to only some people who may need it.

Domestic violence is causing a lot of harm in many homes today. Many children grow up bitter because of the abuse they have been through. Urgent steps must therefore be taken to stop domestic violence now!

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