Gender based violence is a common social problem in Nigeria especially in the Northern parts of Nigeria. There has been an increase in the cases of domestic violence, sexual exploitation, forced early marriage, and rape of minors since the spate of book haram insurgency.
This is an empirical study of domestic violence against women in Makurdi metropolis of Benue State. It is a descriptive survey using qualitative and quantitative methods to obtain data from the respondents on the magnitude of domestic violence as well as the cultural practices that predispose women to domestic violence. Three hundred and seventy six respondents were selected using cluster, simple random and purposive sampling techniques. Data collection was done using questionnaire and key informant interview. The findings revealed that the magnitude of domestic violence against women in that area is relatively high, and that some cultural values and practices such as male preference, freedom of men to discipline their wives, traditional consideration of women as inheritable properties of men and the disposition that women are second class citizens in the society are the major cultural practices that engender domestic violence against women. About 52.1% of the respondents were of the opinion that the incidence of domestic violence is high, while 63.3% had experienced domestic violence at one time or the other. Also 43.7% said that cultural values and practices are the major causes of domestic violence in the area.
The study then concludes that the major causes of domestic violence in the study area are the effects of some cultural values and practices.