Domestic violence in Nigeria is widespread and takes many forms including physical, sexual, emotional, and mental. Traditionally, it is committed against females. The most common forms of physical violence include rape, murder, slapping, and kicking. Reasons for physical abuse include their husbands being drunk, financial issues, and the rejection of a partner's sexual advances. Another indicator of physical violence is Relationship inequality resulting from the lack of control the male partner feels within the relationship.
The social context of violence in Nigeria is based largely on its patriarchal society. Violence against a wife is seen as a tool that a husband uses to chastise his wife for improvement.
One major issue facing the domestic violence issues in Nigeria are the tendency for low reported rates. One main reason for the high levels of under-reporting are that it is seen as taboo to involve the police in family matters.
While domestic violence is a violation of fundamental human rights, which the Nigerian Constitution is against, there are still provisions that make it legal to engage in it. The provision of the Penal Code applicable in the Northern part of Nigeria specifically encourages violence against women. Underneath its provisions, the beating of a wife for the purpose of correction is legal by use of (Section 55 (1) (d) of the Penal Code).
Nigeria ratified the convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 1985 but Parliament has not recognized it in her laws.
In May 2013, Nigeria's National Assembly passed a bill to reduce gender-based violence, which awaits Senate approval before it becomes law. The Violence against Persons Bill gave harsher punishments for sexual violence and deters its continuity.