Nollywood’s Nigerian actresses and actors are wielding their celebrity status for a good cause when the group took to the streets marching against domestic violence and Jungle Justice.
On Thursday, January 23rd 2014, the stars of Nollywood, mainly from the Yourba-speaking area of the movie industry, put on a parade through the Lagos streets to end the ongoing violence and Jungle Justice so prevalent in Nigeria.
Some of the protesting stars included Ronke Oshodi, Fathia Balogun, Yomi Fashlanso, Foluke Daramola, and Bisi Ibidapo-obe. However, they did not march alone, the celebrities were joined by local school children who proudly raised their banners in protest.
The protest focused on Jungle Justice. According to the rules of Jungle Justice, brutality can be used as punishment for breaking the law. Jungle Justice was enforced in the beating and sodomizing of three women accused of stealing a coke and pepper at the Ejigbo Market.
Justice is defined as the fairness in the treatment of people, while Jungle Justice can be defined as the justification of extrajudicial killing of a victim in the most barbaric and horrific fashion usually through burning or stoning the victim in full sight of the public.
Jungle Justice has run rampant in Nigeria and Africa as the most efficient way to carry out Justice in suspected criminal cases. In essence, Jungle Justice is equal to people who have no rights and can be brutalized in any way the person in power sees fit, a daily routine in many households in America where domestic violence is so prevalent.
Domestic Violence and Suicide
Women, the invisible majority, make up 51 percent of the population. While the media focuses on drunken brawls, the women and children suffer in silence, faced with the fact they are more likely to be hit at home by a ‘loved one’ than a man is to be punched by a stranger on a street. Unspoken household violence has become the silent killer.
Facts about Domestic Violence
- 1 out of 3 women will be victimized by a domestic partner in her lifetime
- Only 1 in 5 victims will seek medical treatment for her injuries
- Only half of the of the incidents are reported to authorities
- Nearly all perpetrators claim they will stop, but don’t
- All domestic violence victims are at risk of dying at the hand of the perpetrator
- 1 out of 4 women suffering from domestic violence will attempt suicide
Women are not the only victims in a domestic violence situation the children suffer as well. Children are devastated by the emotional and physical abuse; they feel extremely powerless and sink into deep despair of anger and fear. Children, being too immature to cope with the situation, often seek ways to release themselves from the pain by turning to suicide or releasing the pent-up rage and feeling of powerlessness through violent acts of their own.
School violence occurs more frequently in inner city schools than in suburban and rural schools. Poverty goes hand in hand with crime, since it flourishes where conditions are the worst. Children in such neighborhoods are exposed to several risk factors, which increase the chance these children will turn to crime. These toxic neighborhoods have the highest rates of drug abuse, possession of illegal guns, criminal activity, gang activity, school failure and child abuse.
Children learn caring and love or rage and anger from the environment they grow up in–home, community, and school—and model their behavior from their observations. If they observe violence as a means to an end, they will internalize the behavior and draw upon it as needed.
Bullying is the most common type of school violence and for the most part is overlooked by teachers and school administration. Taunting, harassment, and aggression toward weaker or friendless students occur at all ages, but tapers off in the upper grades. Bullying intimidates others by repeated threats of harm and can cause fear and psychological damage to their victims. The victims, in turn, up the ante and turn to weapons as a form of protection and revenge, carrying out the idea that Jungle Justice exists in America.
Another type of activity that is considered when discussing school violence is the use of weapons in schools. According to the Federal Center of Disease Control, an estimated 1 in 20 adolescents carries a gun to school, equating one million guns that are carried to school everyday. Many of the children carrying the guns do so out of fear, both at school and at home.
Children who witness violence in their home or school feel helpless to protect themselves and often turn to extreme measure to feel safe. Children learn by observing, for example, a child witnessing gang members using guns to gain some type of reward—money, drugs, power, revenge—while this child has never picked up a gun, he knows how to use it, and why. The child is now prepared to distribute some revenge of his own. When the child grows to adulthood, he will perpetuate the violent behavior he grew up experiencing. He has already accepted the fact that Jungle Justice exists in America.
By Deborah Baran