The role of the Community in preventing domestic violence: A case study of Chaisa Township in Lusaka Urban
Phiri, Bulawayo Sharon
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This study discusses the role of the community in preventing domestic violence in Chaisa Township, Lusaka Urban. The general objective of this study was to investigate the role of the community in preventing domestic violence. The specific objectives were: to investigate the prevalence of domestic violence in Chaisa; to investigate perceptions regarding domestic violence as a serious problem among Chaisa residents; to determine the role that the Chaisa community play in preventing domestic violence and to find out whether or not there are any community owned initiatives aimed at preventing domestic violence in Chaisa. The study was a descriptive survey in its design and adopted qualitative research methods. The study site was Chaisa Township in Lusaka Urban and the total sample size was sixty seven (67). In-depth Interviews and Focus Group Discussions were used to collect data. Probability multi stage sampling was used in recruiting household participants and non- probability purposeful sampling was adhered to in recruiting community leaders into the study. The data collected was analysed using content analysis. The study found out that there was a high prevalence of domestic violence in Chaisa. Most people in the community were not involved in preventing domestic violence. However, some members of the community prevented violence using some of the following strategies: intervening in incidences of domestic violence, reporting domestic violence cases in the neighbourhood to the police, women submitting to husbands or avoiding quarrelling with drunken spouse or simply walking away when angered. As for the community leaders, the study found that, most churches emphasised marriage values to their members which discouraged violence and some churches provided women economic empowerment programmes to lessen economic dependency on men. Marriage counsellors discouraged couples against domestic violence while some political parties were also involved in handing over repeat offenders of domestic violence to the police. However, there were no community owned organisations dedicated to domestic violence prevention. Therefore, the study concluded that, there needs to be massive sensitisation on the subject of domestic violence and women’s rights for strengthened, organised and sustained initiatives aimed at preventing domestic violence in Chaisa. The researcher recommends massive sensitisation on the subject of domestic violence in Chaisa, all perceived community leaders need to be educated on domestic violence so that they take part in prevention efforts, the Chaisa Ward Development Committee must immediately initiate strategies on domestic violence prevention and also women economic empowerment is urgently required in Chaisa as economic dependency on men was cited as a major contributor to domestic violence in Chaisa. The researcher also recommends that there is urgent need to implement the National Plan of Action on Gender Based Violence (GBV) of 2010-2014 which has elaborated on community participation in eradicating GBV.