Domestic violence is physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological action or threats that influence another person. It includes any behavior that, isolates, frightens, terrorizes, coerces, threatens, hurts, injures or wounds, or even controls another person negatively. Different authors give various angles to the meaning of domestic violence. From the various definitions, one thing that is common is the fact that domestic violence has negative effects on the parties involved in the violence. The study adopted Uses and Gratification theory of mass communication. A total population of 500,979 were used in the population size of the study whereas a sample size of 160 were administered questionnaire which fall under the research design of description. The portrayal of domestic violence is a media campaign against incessant cases of domestic violence in family sphere in Nigeria.The portrayal of domestic violence in Nigeria home movie is essential for teaching people on how to avoid domestic violence and high level of portrayal of domestic violence increase the knowledge of the people. Finally, despite the differences between the producers and the audience, the study discovered that people do take caution in their relationship with their spouse  to avoid any form of domestic violence as the contents of domestic violence and its effect in films they watched play back.  The study makes the following recommendations from the conclusion of the study that producers of movies in Nigeria should be sensitive to the dangers of proportional display of domestic violence in the home movie so that people will not be motivated to demonstrate to reflect what they watch and emphasis should be on the aims of portraying of domestic violence in home movie than the entertainment function so that people will be cautioned to the implications of domestic violence in homes.






1.1 Background to the Study


According to Hassan and Azarina (2009), violence is one of the major worldwide concerns today in all segments of societies. People frequently watch, read and hear about verbal battle, physical combat and dehumanization in the society. These events are only the most extreme examples of the aggression that takes place every day. According Rahim, Ping, Yin and Edwin (2015), stated that violence is a pervasive term in media language. Other forms of aggression and violence, which may take place at home, or in peer confrontations may not make official statistical counts (Strom-Gottfried & Singer, 1995).

Violent attitudes in humans are recognized to be associated to a number of physiological, psychological (emotional), domestic, and cultural reasons. The learning environments which the child is exposed to are also considered to contribute to the increase of antisocial attitudes and feelings (Berkowitz, 2001).

Oyelade (2012), however see domestic violence as physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological action or threats that influence another person. It includes any behavior that, isolates, frightens, terrorizes, coerces, threatens, hurts, injures or wounds, or even controls another person negatively. Different authors give various angles to the meaning of domestic violence. From the various definitions, one thing that is common is the fact that domestic violence has negative effects on the parties involved in the violence.

According to Ishola (2016), on a daily basis in the Nigerian society there is shocking news of domestic violence everywhere. If the news is not about the growing trend of “baby making factories” dotting the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, it may be about a husband killing the wife or wife killing the husband. Sometimes, it may be about a father violating his daughter by sexually abusing her. It also be brothers or sister fighting for share of properties.

According to Scott and Marshall (2009), domestic violence is specifically male violence (physical or psychological) against women. The term is believed to have been popularized by feminists in the 1970’s, some of whom established refuges for battered women. They argued that domestic violence is a reflection of gender inequalities in power and of women’s oppression. More broadly, the term encompasses any violence within the family, although violence against children is usually described specifically as child abuse.

Nigerian women are beaten, raped and even murdered by members of their own family for a supposed transgression, which can range from not having meals ready on time to visiting family members without their husband’s permission. Some women even experience acid attacks from their husbands or boyfriends which cause extreme pain or disfigurement, sometimes leading to the death of the victims.

Domestic violence affects all social groups in the society and can consist of physical, sexual, emotional, economic and psychological abuse (America Psychiatric Association 2005). Although men can also be victims of domestic violence (Denis 2014), women and children suffer it most. The prevalent culture of silence and stigmatization of victims of domestic violence hinders public acknowledgment of the problem. According to Abayomi (2016), Domestic violence against is an issue of global concern that is gaining more and more prominence. It transcends national, cultural, racial and class boundaries. It is a social malady that is threatening the stable and balanced psychological development of the family in the Nigerian society.

Domestic violence is the intentional and persistent abuse of anyone in the home in a way that causes pain, distress or injury. It is a common occurrence throughout Nigeria and “wears many faces”. It involves disrespect and powerlessness that runs through women’s lives. It is a violation of human rights (Nwankwo, 2003).

            It refers to any abusive treatment of one’s family member by another, thus violating the law of basic human rights. It includes battering of intimate partners and others, sexual abuse of children, marital rape and traditional practices that are harmful to women (Ahiie, 2009).

The media has a link to domestic violence in Nigeria. This is done through entertainment programmes such as drama, movie, music, e.t.c. Among these elements of entertainments, movie is the most watched in Nigeria by the people. Movie production is now under Nollywood.  According to Utoh-Ezeajugh and Anijah (2017), in order to expose and address issues of domestic violence and gender domination, the Nigerian film industry generally known as Nollywood has through several movies showcased measures of preventing gender based violence in marital homes. The industry has emphasized morality and cultures as instruments of lighting the menace of violence in marital homes.

According to Wilson et al., 2002), television programmes such as movie and drama contain aggressive and violent contents. This is relatively increasing in the face of new way of stereotype of western world. According to Ishola (2016), movie also features physical aggression. Even music, particularly rap and hip-hop, has been known to have excessively violent lyrics. Thus, a considerable public concern about violence in the media may have harmful effects on individuals.

The makers of the films have laid emphasis on contemporary realities which many Nigerians can relate to, to show that movies with household violence and gender domination undertone are used to educate and entertain its audience and society at large on how intimate partners can manage crisis in their marital relationships.

Thus, Nigerian filmmakers often make movies, with themes that are very educative and entertain bearing in mind that films are essential means of societal transformation; the film medium readily volunteers itself as a platform for the investigation of human conflicts that recur in various societies. Unarguably, the operators of the Nigerian video film industry – Nollywood – have assiduously worked to adjust certain social orientations through their portrayal in video films of the social, political, economic and cultural specifics that define the existence of the Nigerian people

Indeed, a lot of research topics of exposure to media violence and the increment of aggressive attitudes and behaviors in the society have been studied worldwide (Weaver & Wilson, 2009).One reason for media violence continues to exist is because people think violence in entertainment is attractive. Violent programs differ greatly in how explicit or graphic they are (Wilson et al., 1998). Some feature blood, gore, and close-ups of the aggression and its consequences. Such stimuli could be attractive, but it may produce negative emotions, such as fear, disgust, or even

Media contents of domestic violence seem to be interesting because many viewers perceived that actions oriented contents in the movies increase the impulse to watch movies. On the other hand, film makers believed that domestic violence is typically a Nigeria acts of violence and aggressor to compare with western world for arms shooting and violence.

According to Ishola (2016), to explore the dimensionality of viewing experience, with a focus on the domain of gory and violent content typically associated with genres such as drama, horror, or suspense, we conducted an online questionnaire study that employed closed-ended questions pertaining to perceptions of goriness, meaningfulness and suspense in the movie.

Nollywood came as a result of the developments witnessed In early 2002s in the movie industry. According to Alessandro (2011), the name Nollywood appeared in Nigeria for the first time in a New York Times article by NorimitsuOnishi in September 2002 and was republished by the Nigerian newspaper The Guardian few days later. According to Jonathan (2007), it rapidly became appealing for the local press and fans that started using it all over the places.  In 2003, the Nigerian newspaper Daily Times already had a weekend column called “Inside Nollywood” and around the same period the term started appearing consistently on numerous internet sites and forums. While suggesting this name, Onishi’s article explicitly made reference to Bollywood and Hollywood (“Step aside, Los Angeles and Bombay, for Nollywood”, is the title of the article), giving a voice to those that in Nigeria and elsewhere were asserting the global influence of the video phenomenon. By doing that, the article also created a brand that quickly became a tool to commercialize the video industry transnationally, (Jonathan, 2007).

 It is important to note, the genesis of Nollywood as a name for the movie industry does not represent the start point of film production in Nigeria. According to Alessandro(2011), the term Nollywood could easily resume in one word all the claims emerging within the video environment: the fact that the video phenomenon should be considered the transnational dimension of the industry which seem to cover global conference. One of the attributes that is attached to the name Nollywood is that it has increase in the amount of film productions for both local and international consumption.

This of course has attracted the comparison between Nollywood to two other world recognized film making industries: Hollywood and Bollywood. Alessandro(2011), if not global, impact and that, because of the combination of these attributes, it deserved to be compared to the two most successful film industries in the world, Hollywood and Bollywood.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The development of television as a common mass entertainment and information medium during the 1950s encountered similar concerns about potential harms, especially in connection with audiences (Gunter, 1994). The most important concern in the debate about media violence has been whether or not it promotes aggressive behavior among viewers (Van Evra, 1990).

Many film makers have disputed the fact that the essence of film making is to correct some issues in the society in a view to highlight the consequences on the society. Nowadays, many concerns have been raised about the kinds of values and attitudes that may be inculcated by exposure to certain kinds of media content, especially violence in movies (Kubey& Larson, 2005).

Media violence is recognized as a potential contributor to the increase of antisocial attitudes in homes, (Ledingham, Ledingham, & Richardson, 1993). Considerations about media violence go back to the 1920s. At that time the earliest coordinated social scientific research investigation into the impact of media violence began in the western countries. It was intended at studying the harmful impacts of media on society, (Ishola, 2016). The society perceived that media violence was viewed to be one of the major causes of violence.

The Nigeria Nollywood over the years has recorded great amount of domestic violent scene which ranges from verbal, killings, beating, child labour, crisis and the rest. The issue about the scenes of domestic violence lies on the audience who judge whether the scenes are affecting them negatively or not. Therefore, this study seek to close the gap in knowledge on the nature of domestic violence in Nollywood; the contributions of Nollywood in the eradicating domestic violence; the problems associated with Nollywood domestic portrayal and the way forward in the development of Nollywood on issues related to domestic violence.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The specific objective of this study is perception of the depiction of domestic violence in Nigeria home movie. On the other hand, the following objectives guided the study.

  1. To determine the nature of domestic violence depict in Nollywood.
  2. To find out the contributions of Nollywood depiction of domestic violence in eradication of domestic violence in the society.
  3. To ascertain the problems associated with audience understanding the depiction of domestic violence in Nollywood.
  4. To discover the measures of portrayal of domestic violence in Nollywood for domestic peace.

1.4           Research Questions

  1. What is the nature of domestic violence depicting in Nollywood?
  2. What are the contributions of Nollywood depiction of domestic violence in eradication of domestic violence in the society?
  3. What are the problems associated to with audience understanding depiction of domestic violence in Nollywood?
  4. What are the measures of portrayal of domestic violence in Nollywood for domestic peace?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The followings are the beneficiaries of the study.

  1. Family members
  2. Film producers
  3. National Broadcasting Commission

The study will benefit family member because the finding of this study will address the issues of negative perception held by the people towards the influence of domestic violence depicted in the Nollywood as well as become a guide to members of the family to what really constitute moral teaching of movie with high contents of domestic violence.


This study will also benefit film producers in Nollywood industry because the result of the findings which will be base on the perception of the public on the depiction of domestic violence in the movies will help them to understanding the possible way to send the message of evil associated with movies with domestic violence.

Finally, the study will benefit National Broadcasting Commission because the result of the findings will provide new guiding principles to the influence of domestic violence in Nigeria movies. 

1.6 Scope of the Study

The geographic scope of the study will be restricted to Makurdi town; and the human scope will center on adult living in Markurdi while the period of twelve (12) months which is from June 2017 to June 2018 forms the scope of the time. The literary scope of the study is on the perception of depiction of domestic violence in Nollywood in Nigeria.

1.7 Definition of the Study

Violence: The term violence mean a level of aggression or act capable of hurting human body or emotion from an individual or group of individual to another.

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is the act of aggression capable to hurt a person done in homes or house. It involves members of the family.

Depiction: this is the portrayal of scene or display of actions that is capale of influencing a person to act in the same way.

Nollywood: Nollywood is a term used to characterize the Nigeria movie industry to mean same like Hollywood and Bollywood.

Audience: This is a group of viewers to a programme preferable to television and movie as in the case of the course of study.