Violence in the home and in intimate relationships : a qualitative exploration of black teenagers' experience and views

Kubeka, Alvina Makhosazana (2003-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Domestic violence in South Africa is increasingly becoming a major social problem. Domestic violence disrupts family life and the functioning of family members. However, domestic violence is still narrowly defined and viewed as affecting women who are usually the victims/survivors of such violence. The impact of domestic violence on children is largely underestimated and ignored. Most research and intervention programmes have focused on the problem as it affects women thus treating the impact of violence on children as of secondary importance. The aim of this study is to examine domestic violence from the perspective of black teenagers who either witness or experience such violence themselves. In an attempt to understand and make sense of Black teenagers' experiences and views of violence in their homes and intimate relationships, insights from different theoretical perspectives are used. These are Trauma theory, Social learning theory and the Funnel of Violence theory. Using a qualitative methodology, the study explores black teenagers experiences of domestic violence in their home of origin and their perceptions of violence in intimate relationships. Focus group interviews were conducted with 22 black male and female teenagers between the ages of 14 and 21 to obtain data. The study was conducted in Kayamandi, a township situated in the Stellenbosch area. The findings revealed that the teenagers have been exposed to constant conflict between their parents, the causes of which include alcohol abuse and infidelity. The exposure to violence at home has been traumatic and has affected teenagers on an emotional, psychological and sometimes physical level. The conflict at home has also affected their ability to cope and adopt in their social and school environment. Some have also been direct victims of violence since they have suffered abuse at the hands of both their parents. As a result, their relationship with their parents has been strained. In addition, they seem to have adopted distorted views on how to deal with problems within relationships. They tend to view violence as a means to resolve conflict in intimate relationships and some of these teenagers have come to believe that violence is acceptable since it is an indication of love. They also believe that violent behaviour is a consequence of provocation and is carried out unwittingly to punish and discipline the victim. In most cases the victims of violence are women.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gesinsgeweld word toenemend as 'n sosiale probleem binne die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing geïdentifiseer. Gesinsgeweld word gesien as dat dit die gesinslewe en die gesonde funksionering van gesinslede ontwrig. Gesinsgeweld word egter grootliks gedefinieer as dat dit slegs volwasse vroue affekteer. Die impak van gesinsgeweld op kinders word grootliks onderskat en selfs geïgnoreer. Navorsing oor gesinsgeweld en intervensieprogramme is dus hoofsaaklik gerig op die impak daarvan op vroue as slagoffers. Die doel van hierdie studie is om die impak van gesinsgeweld op kinders in die gesin te ondersoek. Ten einde swart tienderjariges se blootstelling aan gesinsgeweld en die wyse waarop hulle geweld binne intieme verhoudings konseptualiseer te interpreteer, is insigte uit verskillende teoretiese perspektiewe aangewend. Die belangrikste perspektiewe is Trauma teorie, Sosiale Leerteorie en die sg. 'Funnel of violence' teorie. Die studie is kwalitatief van aard en eksploreer swart tienderjariges se sienings van geweld binne hul gesin van oorsprong asook hul siening van die rol van geweld binne intieme verhoudings. Fokusgroeponderhoude is gevoer met 22 swart manlike en vroulike tienderjariges tussen die ouderdom van 14 en 21 jaar woonagtig in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch. Van die belangrikste bevindings is dat swart tienderjariges alkoholmisbruik en huweliksontrouheid as die belangrikste aanleidende oorsake van geweld in die gesin identifiseer. Tienderjariges ervaar gesinsgeweld as traumaties en geweld beïnvloed hulle op emosionele en sielkundige vlak. Blootstelling aan geweld het ook 'n invloed op hul vermoë om suksesvol binne hul sosiale- en skoolomgewing te funksioneer. Terwyl die meeste deelnemers nie self slagoffers van gesinsgeweld was nie, was enkeles wel. Dit het stremming tussen ouers en kinders tot gevolg gehad. Blootstelling aan geweld beïnvloed tienderjariges se vermoë om konflik binne intieme verhoudings suksesvol te hanteer. Sommige definieer geweld as 'n indikator van liefde. Sommige interpreteer geweld as grootliks onbedoeld en 'n wyse om 'n persoon (gewoonlik 'n vrou) te straf en te dissiplineer. In die meeste situasies is vroue die slagoffers van geweld.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53714
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