SPOUSAL VIOLENCE IN THE ERA OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN: THE IMPLICATION OF SOCIOECONOMIC DISTRESS AND CONTEXTUAL FACTORS

Globally, there are overwhelming evidence on the increasing spate of domestic violence among couples during the coronavirus lockdown. However, there are limited empirical studies that have explored the role of socioeconomic distress on spousal violence occurrence during the enforced lockdown in Nigeria. This study investigated how contextual, socio-demographic factors, economic distress interplay with spousal violence (SV) during enforced lockdown due to COVID-19. A web-based cross-sectional study utilizing snowballing sampling technique was adopted. Participants were recruited via social media platform, Facebook and WhatsApp using google form from March 3 to April 4, 2020. 356 participants (141 males and 215 females) responded to questionnaire containing socioeconomic, demographic information and Composite Abuse Scale (CAS); which was used to assess spousal violence. Result showed that living conditions of couples, income status and job status had significant influence on SV. However, gender, religion affiliation, type of family, and spouse’s tribal affiliation had no significant influence on SV. The study concluded that contextual factors and socioeconomic distress exert significant implications on spousal violence. It was recommended that government at all levels should be objective in the distribution of palliative measures to combat socio-contextual and economic distress among residents to achieve a spousal violence free society among Nigerians during and in future pandemic lockdown.
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