Most investigations on domestic violence in family relationships have centered around men as the perpetrators of violence without exploring the context of violence occurrence from a gender lens and other social factors. This study explored the meanings associated with family violence, the contexts for its occurrence, and the indigenous approaches to managing such conflicts among the Yoruba ethnic subgroup in southwest Nigeria. This was an exploratory cross-sectional study guided by an interpretative constructivist approach in which 20 community stakeholders were recruited through purposive sampling. The data were collected via in-depth interview (IDI) and focus group discussion (FGD). Findings from the study showed that both men and women in family relationship contribute to the occurrence of family violence, although the forms perpetrated differ by gender. Religious leaders were identified as key indigenous structure for effective management of family violence among other indigenous structures (extended family mediation and community/royal father interventions). The study showed that these groups of people are also affected by societal male dominance belief which has contributed to occurrence of family violence. The study concluded that an indigenous intervention that will help control family violence among this group must focus on strengthening community structures; most importantly, the religious institutions on how to instill mutual respect among couples and train them on conflict resolution skills as family violence in the group is seen as issue that should not be taken out of the community structures.


intimate relationship, violence, gender, qualitative study, indigenous intervention

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Oluwasayo Bolarinwa Ogunlade is a community/public health nurse with preference for family health. She is a registered nurse, midwife and public health nurse in Nigeria. Her research interest is in family nursing and family violence. Dr. Ogunlade is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International. She has several years of experience as a nurse-midwife in various capacities and as a community health nurse. She is currently a clinical instructor and online facilitator at the Department of Nursing Science, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. Please direct correspondence to bolaogunlade@gmail.com.

Dr. Adekemi Eunice Olowokere RN, RM, RPHN, BNSc, PhD, is a registered nurse, midwife, and public health nurse with the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She obtained bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees in nursing science. Dr. Adekemi E. Olowokere is a senior lecturer with over ten years’ experience as a teacher and researcher at the Department of Nursing Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State Nigeria. She teaches community health nursing (with focus on community midwifery), research, and biostatistics. As a nurse researcher, Dr. Olowokere has initiated and collaborated with people to conduct over 25 community-based studies that focused on alleviating maternal and child vulnerability, debility, and mortality in Nigeria. Before she joined the service of the University, Dr. A.E. Olowokere had ten years’ experience in public health programming as a Senior Programme Officer with a national non-governmental organization that focuses on developing and implementing sexual and reproductive health programmes at the grassroots level. She was involved in the training of community-based organizations across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria to implement sexual and reproductive health programmes. Dr. Olowokere is versatile in the use of statistical software such as SPSS and Stata.

Dr. Ojo M. Agunbiade, PhD, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Obafemi Awolowo University. Ojo has a PhD in Sociology of Health from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and two MSc degrees, one in sociology and anthropology at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, and the second one in gerontology from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Ojo teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in gerontology, medical sociology, sociological theory, and social research methods. Ojo has adopted mixed method designs in researching ageing, gender and development, reproductive health, and African traditional medicine.

Dr. Aanuoluwapo Omobolanle Olajubu is a community-public health nurse with several years of experience. She lectures in the Department of Nursing Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Her research interests and activities are in the areas of nursing informatics and sexual & reproductive health across the lifespan, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable populations such as women, adolescents, and young adults.

Oyeyemi Olajumoke Oyelade is a lecturer I at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She holds a doctoral degree from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and obtained a certificate of merit in qualitative research from the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she also obtained her master’s degree. She is a public speaker, a qualitative research analyst and an upcoming scholar with 15 publications. She is the Founder of a non-governmental organization (M-Health Pal Mobile Rehabilitation Initiative – Registered with Nigeria CAC Registration Number 167571) that is passionate about rehabilitation and has developed a practice guide for the rehabilitation of individuals with chronic mental illnesses.

Professor Omolola O. Irinoye is a professor of nursing at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. She is a community/public health nurse with research interests in sexual-reproductive health, violence, and family health. She is an active contributor to policy, capacity building for care and support of vulnerable groups, particularly orphans and vulnerable children, adolescents, and women. She is actively involved in human resource and capacity development for health in Nigeria and other African countries.


The authors wish to express sincere gratitude to NMCN-MCPDP Southwest zone Committee for providing financial support for the data collection and analysis. Prof. Omolola Irinoye, of the Department of Nursing Science, Obafemi Awolowo University is acknowledged for assisting with the review of the concept note and the instruments used for the study.

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