Image credit: freepik

Will it be fair to assert that engaging in romantic relationships is fast becoming an alternative to suicide? ‘‘For better, for worse’’ has been taken literally, and this is not just by married couples, but persons who should have otherwise just enjoyed their diverse romantic relationships – from dating to cohabitating. Perhaps the assertion is unfair to thriving relationships because they still exist. But, here in Ghana, as the news bulletins and social media continue to be saddled with stories of people ending the lives of their romantic partners, and perpetuating extreme levels of abuse and violence, there is a cause for alarm. A viable one.

‘‘Girl Kills Boyfriend Over Cheating Suspicions’’, ‘’Boy Butchers Girlfriend after Heated Argument’’ and “Man Pours Acid on Wife after Alleged Cheating’’; these stories go on and on. The recent story of a 16-year-old hairdresser burning down her boyfriend’s room after a breakup in the Central Region of Ghana is just one of the many stories thronging the internet. The sad and unfortunate thing is that young people, even teenagers have become perpetrators of such violent acts. What then are some of the underlying causes of such extreme reaction and responses and what is the way forward?


The main causes of such extreme actions by partners in relationships are a long-term pattern of abuse, violence, and control within the relationship. It usually begins with experiencing problems in the relationship that are left unresolved and breed resentment over time. It also seems to be a clear case of immaturity, lack of emotional control and to put it simply, the lack of preparedness for a relationship.

To avoid falling prey to violence in relationships is to spot the signs early. A history of domestic violence, substance abuse, possessiveness, control are tell-tale signs. These signs are sometimes ignored ultimately leading to fatal consequences. The trauma of violence especially in romantic relationships can lead to mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), etc. All of which are obviously detrimental to one’s well-being.

According to the National News Agency, counselling is a from of early intervention; a necessary step to help couples identify and address issues in their relationships. This is a form of early intervention. Conflict management is studied during these sessions as well as healthy and effective communication. It is also important for young people to be taken through various forms of counselling in schools at home and at structured events. The importance of this is to help develop their mental faculties and to train them to be more equipped in their social interactions. Social services should also offer maximum support to victims of abuse, so they do not fall back into abusive associations.

It can be a daunting task, but once there is a conscientious effort to address violence and abuse early in relationships, casualties can be prevented.

Source: Ghana/ Kumashie