The abuse of power and sexual violence: a close reading of 2 Samuel 11 against the background of Boko Haram Atrocities in Nigeria

Audu Makama, Bulus (2016-02-18)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research is stimulated by the current abuse of power and sexual violence associated with Boko Haram atrocities in Nigeria during the last two decades. The concern for peaceful co-existence, gender equity, and health in Nigeria as well as globally also constitute a motivation for this research. This study narrates and examines the abuse of power and sexual violence through a close reading of the textual detail in 2 Samuel 11:1-27 mostly within its literary context and against the background of Boko Haram atrocities in Nigeria. Sexual violence including rape is a forced sexual act which often includes degrading jests on women, name-calling, unwanted touching and use of pornography, violates human dignity. In the attempt to perform a sexual act, or any act of forced, unwanted or unlawful sexual activity without a person’s consent, the perpetrator commits sexual violence mostly a result of abuse of power. The background to the study in Chapter One considers the socio-cultural, religious, Islamic, and political context as well as the common unit of gender construction in Northern Nigeria. The problem statement, hypotheses, aims and objectives, design and methodology of the research are also outlined. Causality theory by Rachel Jewkes is adopted to highlight the main causes of sexual violence. Furthermore, the study gives a description of the abuse of power and sexual violence inherent in Boko Haram atrocities in Nigeria as part of the hermeneutical frame of reference of the research in Chapter 2 which also presents a review of literatures on abuse of power and sexual violence as attested in Boko Haram activities. A definition of salient terms such as abuse, power, sexual violence and atrocity is provided along with a brief history of Boko Haram and its initial non-violent phase, violent acts, and current acts of terror through sexual violence. Again, examples of violent behaviour and the reasons for sexual violence by Boko Haram are considered. In Chapter Three, the study focuses on a close reading of 2 Samuel 11 that is sensitive to the presence of overt and covert manifestations of abuse of power and sexual violence in the biblical text, with special reference to verse 27. In fulfilling one of the aims and objectives of this study, Chapter Four offers a humble contribution to the Nigerian discourse on a theological ethical response to the effects of abuse of power and sexual violence perpetrated by Boko Haram. The study critically contextualized the reading of 2 Samuel 11:1-27 as a theological ethical response to the challenges posed by Boko Haram atrocities, and argues that women are not necessarily culpable when it comes to the abuse of power and sexual violence directed against them. The study submits that despite the Boko Haram atrocities in Nigeria, life beyond Boko Haram and peaceful coexistence between opposing parties is possible. The thesis therefore calls for a self-evaluation in order to understand Boko Haram atrocities and think afresh about how to influence others whose mind-set derives from the same context and concept. Patriarchy which silences the voices of women in the society should be redefined by taking into consideration Jewkes’ causality theory of intimate relationship in order to alleviate the plight of women who suffer from trauma, Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STDs), stigmatization and many more health challenges as a result of sexual violence.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing is aangewakker na aanleiding van die huidige magsmisbruik en seksuele geweld wat geassosieer word met die gruweldade van Boko Haram in Nigerië oor die afgelope twee dekades. 'n Versugting na vreedsame naasbestaan, gender-gelykheid en gesondheid, beide in Nigerië en globaal, het ook gedien as motivering vir hierdie navorsing. Die studie ontplooi en ondersoek die magsmisbruik en seksuele geweld aan die hand van 'n toegespitsde lees van die teksdetail in 2 Samuel 11:1-27, hoofsaaklik binne die literêre konteks en teen die agtergrond van Boko Haram se gruweldade in Nigerië. Seksuele geweld, insluitend verkragting, behels gedwonge seksuele handeling wat dikwels neerhalende grappies, skelname, ongewensde aanraking en die gebruik van pornografie insluit, en wat menswaardigheid skend. Deur pogings om seksuele handelinge uit te voer of af te dwing, of ongewensde of wederregtelik handeling sonder toestemming, pleeg die misdrywer seksuele geweld meestal as gevolg van magsmisbruik. Die agtergrond tot die studie skets in Hoofstuk Een die sosiokulturele, religieuse, Islamitiese en politieke kontekste, asook die tipologie van gender-samestelling in Noord-Nigeriese gemeenskappe. Die probleemstelling, hipoteses, doelwitte, navorsingsontwerp en metodologie van die navorsing word ook in hierdie hoofstuk uiteengesit. Die kousaliteitsteorie van Rachel Jewkes word toegepas om die hoofoorsake van seksuele geweld te beskryf. Die studie gee vervolgens 'n beskrywing van die magsmisbruik en seksuele geweld inherent in die gruweldade van Boko Haram in Nigerië. Dit vorm deel van die hermeneutiese verwysingsraamwerk van die navorsing in Hoofstuk Twee, wat 'n oorsig bied oor die literatuur oor magsmisbruik en seksuele geweld, soos by Boko Haram-aktiwiteite gemeld. 'n Definisie van sleutelterme soos "misbruik", "mag", "seksuele geweld" en "gruweldaad" word aangebied, sowel as 'n kort geskiedenis van Boko Haram, sy aanvanklik nie-gewelddadige fase, gewelddade en huidige terreurdade deur middel van seksuele geweld. Weer word voorbeelde van gewelddadige optrede en die oorsake rondom seksuele geweld ondersoek. In Hoofstuk Drie vernou die fokus van die studie tot 'n toegespitsde lees van 2 Samuel 11, wat sensitief is vir die teenwoordigheid van openlike en versluierde vergestaltings van misbruik van mag en seksuele geweld in die Bybelse teks, met spesiale verwysing na vers 27. Ter bereiking van een van die doelstellings van hierdie studie, bied Hoofstuk Vier 'n nederige bydrae tot die Nigeriese diskoers oor 'n teologies-etiese respons tot die gevolge van magsmisbruik en seksuele geweld wat voortvloei uit Boko Haram se gruweldade. Die studie kontekstualiseer die lees van 2 Samuel 11:1-27 krities, as 'n teologies-etiese respons op die uitdaging van die Boko Haram gruweldade, en bied die argument dat vroue nie noodwendig strafbaar is in gevalle van magsmisbruik en seksuele geweld wat teen hulle gemik word nie. Die studie suggereer dat ten spyte van die gruweldade van Boko Haram in Nigerië, daar tog 'n moontlikheid is vir vreedsame naasbestaan tussen opponerende faksies. Die tesis doen daarom 'n beroep op self-evaluering met die doel om Boko Haram se gruweldade te begryp, en om opnuut te besin oor hoe om persone met 'n denkraamwerk soos die geweldskonteks en -konseptualisering, te beïnvloed. Die patriargie wat die stemme van vroue in die samelewing stilmaak, behoort herdefinieer te word, deur inagname van Jewkes se kousaliteitsteorie van intieme verhoudings, om verligting te bied in die lot van vroue wat slagoffers is van trauma, seksueel oordraagbare siektes, stigmatisering en vele ander gesondheidsprobleme wat resulteer van seksuele geweld.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98513
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