Male victims of domestic violence in south africa
Civil society organisations across the country formed the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence campaign, demanding a fully-costed, evidence-based, multi-sectoral, inclusive and comprehensive NSP to end GBV. Gender-based violence GBV is a profound and widespread problem in South Africa, impacting on almost every aspect of life. GBV which disproportionately affects women and girls is systemic, and deeply entrenched in institutions, cultures and traditions in South Africa. GBV occurs as a result of normative role expectations and unequal power relationships between genders in a society. The expectations associated with different genders vary from society to society and over time. Patriarchal power structures dominate in many societies, in which male leadership is seen as the norm, and men hold the majority of power.
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: NGO Men For Real concerned with male victims of GBV: Mompoloki TsieContent:
Violence Against Women (VAW) Hotlines
South Africa has a significant violence problem. The exposure of girls and women to interpersonal violence is widespread, and the victimization of men, especially to severe and homicidal forms of aggression, is of considerable concern, with male homicide eight times the global rate. In the last two decades, there have been a plethora of South African policies to promote safety. However, indications suggest that the policy response to violence is not coherently formulated, comprehensive, or evenly implemented.
This study examines selected South African national legislative instruments in terms of their framing and definition of violence and its typology, vulnerable populations, and prevention. This study comprises a directed content analysis of selected legislative documents from South African ministries mandated to prevent violence and its consequences or tasked with the prevention of key contributors to violence. Documents were selected using an electronic keyword search method and analyzed independently by two researchers.
The legislative documents recognized the high levels of violence, confirmed the prioritization of selected vulnerable groups, especially women, children, disabled persons, and rural populations, and above all drew on criminological perspectives to emphasize tertiary prevention interventions.
There is a policy focus on the protection and support of victims and the prosecution of perpetrators, but near absent recognition of men as victims. There is a need to broaden the policy framework from primarily criminological and prosecutorial perspectives to include public health contributions. It is likewise important to enlarge the conceptions of vulnerability to include men alongside other vulnerable groups.
These measures are important for shaping and resourcing prevention decisions and strengthening primary prevention approaches to violence. Young men aged 25—39 years are especially affected, possibly because of the impact of injuries 3.
South Africa is one of a number of countries plagued by high levels of injuries, which are driven by widespread, often gruesome violence 4 — 6. The country has a violence mortality rate of 65 per ,, nearly five times the global average 7 , with nearly 2 million people annually seeking health care for violent injuries 8. Violence is endemic among women and girls, with a significant proportion of traumatic events linked to sexual violence, which is grossly underreported 9.
Whereas the rate of female homicide involving intimate partners is six times the global rate 10 , the exposure of men to violence — especially to severe and homicidal forms — is also disproportionate, with male homicide rates eight times the global average and the highest rates per , reported for 15—year-olds 7.
Children are also vulnerable, at 5. The homicide rate for boys, at 6. Gender differences increase with age, to reach a homicide rate among boys aged 15—17 years Child abuse precedes nearly half of all child homicides in South Africa, with high levels of abuse underpinning vulnerability to such violence This extensive violence is compounded by episodes of high profile, state violence, such as that by the police on striking miners at Marikana in Violence is determined by a range of often inseparable dynamics located at individual, relationship, community, and societal levels In South Africa, violence is marked by multiple social drivers, including widespread and racialized poverty, persistent unemployment, and extreme income inequality; patriarchal notions of masculinity that celebrate toughness and risk-taking; extensive exposure to abuse in childhood; access to firearms; excessive alcohol misuse; and weaknesses in law enforcement 4.
Although there has been a steady overall decrease in violent deaths over the last decade, non-fatal violence to women has remained particularly high 4 , In view of the complex multifaceted nature of violence, prevention efforts are expected to include multisectoral and multidisciplinary contributions and legislative mechanisms to enable a socially cohesive response 15 , 17 , The South African government has prioritized the prevention of violence through a range of intersectoral initiatives.
The recently formulated National Development Plan NDP aims to reduce violence by half by 19 with collaborative prevention efforts involving the health, justice, and police sectors through national government stewardship.
These efforts have tended to focus on criminal justice measures and services for victims rather than on primary prevention, with gender appearing to feature significantly in the existing secondary and tertiary prevention responses 4 , The South African government response is aligned to the resolutions made at the Sixty-Seventh World Health Assembly 21 , with a focus on strengthening health systems to address violence, especially against women, girls, and children.
There is recognition that boys and young men are amongst those most affected by violence; however, the Assembly primarily emphasizes interventions for women, girls, and children. The South African response would appear aligned to this limited inclusion of support to boys as children in vulnerable settings, and men as perpetrators.
Despite this global focus on women and children as the most important victims of violence, there is emerging recognition of men's vulnerability to violence, especially as perpetrated by male strangers or acquaintances, with pockets of recent research on male violent victimization, including sexual victimization 22 , violence during conflict and post-conflict situations 23 , and, more controversially, male intimate partner violence victimization e. Despite this, the international conventions and country plans seem to have maintained a focus on policies and programs aligned to the Sixty-Seventh World Health Assembly This study examines the definition and delineation of violence and its typology, vulnerable populations, and prevention in selected South African national legislative instruments.
The focus is on key legislative documents that deal with violence prevention. The study draws on a number of core concepts that define violence prevention and policy, respectively see Box 1. The terminology used as a basis for the study closely follows that used by the WHO, by government or by agencies on behalf of government.
Violence is defined in the World Report on Violence and Health as follows:. Violence can be further classified as self-inflicted i. In this article the violence is restricted to interpersonal and collective forms, as the more prominent types currently in South Africa 4.
The WHO states that policy can be defined in a number of different ways, with the following definition of violence prevention policy:. A policy on violence and injury prevention is a document that sets out the main principles and defines goals, objectives, prioritized actions and coordination mechanisms, for preventing intentional and unintentional injuries and reducing their health consequences.
This study uses public health conceptualizations of violence prevention policy 15 , For purposes of the initial keyword search, documents searched included white papers, green papers, draft bills, bills, acts, notices of or official amendments to acts including regulations, proclamations, promulgations, and national instructions , and other official documents such as policy guidelines that provide implementation instructions for policy development or implementation see Box 2.
A green paper is a discussion document regarding a possible new policy that is needed. The green paper is used to elicit responses from the public on a policy issue via publication in the Government Gazette , and once responses have been received and discussed it usually becomes a white paper A white paper is a policy drafted by a government department on a particular issue that has been published for public comment. It can include legislative and administrative proposals for government implementation.
It is the final policy plan A bill is a draft of a new act or law that has been tabled in Parliament but not yet passed. Once it has been passed, it becomes a new law.
An amendment bill drafts proposed changes to an existing act 27 , Once a bill has been passed by Parliament and has been signed by the president, it becomes an act or law and is published in the Government Gazette 27 , An amendment act or amendment to an act is a proposed change or addition to an existing act or bill that is eventually accepted and becomes part of one or more acts.
As it will eventually be part of an act, it is just as important a policy document as the act itself Regulations are the official rules for the implementation of a law or how the aims of a law are to be carried out.
The administrative agencies within government implement these regulations to achieve the legislative intent of that particular act. A national instruction is similar to the regulation Legislation is an overarching term that refers to laws, statutes, and acts.
The legislative process refers to the steps taken within Parliament to bring about a new law The search involved three steps: 1 identification of departments holding a violence prevention mandate, 2 sourcing and selection of violence-related policies and legislation, and 3 the finalization of the document pool by keywords and accessibility. We selected policy and legislative documents published or amended since by looking closely at document titles and executive summaries.
We included any document that appeared at an initial scan to address issues of violence, injury, or safety. This method of selection is not exhaustive, as relevant documents may have been missed or may not have been available on the government website.
The documents that were included were sourced over February to May We electronically searched each selected document for the following keywords: violence, injury, and safety.
The keyword prevention was initially included in the search, but was discarded after it was found that the term was too broad and included too many other unrelated topics. It was decided that prevention as a relevant concept would be identified during the qualitative content analysis, when its relation to one of the other keywords could be verified. Injury was included as a common indicator of violence and violence prevention research.
Limitations to the electronic keyword searches included the inferior quality of some documents, whereas others were in some respects electronically corrupt, making searches unreliable. Of these, documents were electronically searchable. The total number of keyword hits for these documents was for the word violence , 1, for safety , and for injury.
By contrast, policy and developing legislation such as green papers, white papers, and bills are the document types through which emerging legislation is finalized by government, with the input of the public at various stages. This pool was then reduced by selecting only those documents with at least eight keyword hits for any one or more of the keywords, in order to focus on those documents with the greatest likelihood of yielding relevant information.
The final document pool included 20 documents see Box 3. The 20 documents used in this study were therefore authorized by the South African Parliament, the mandated legislative authority in the country's national sphere of government. Parliament passes new laws, amends existing laws, and repeals old laws. There are also provincial legislatures with this authority in the provincial sphere of government, but only with respect to provincial laws, and, similarly, local municipal councils have this authority with respect to municipal by-laws.
These functional areas include economic development, education, environmental affairs, finance, health, human settlements, police or public safety, public works, roads and transport, social development, and sport and recreation, with many of these responsibilities involved in the implementation of legislation and policy relevant for the implementation of violence prevention activities The documents were analyzed deductively, using directed content analysis, comprising the examination of documents and identification of relevant themes 30 , Directed content analysis is guided by a structured process that differs from conventional approaches to content analysis, using existing theory or prior research to identify key concepts or variables as initial coding categories Two researchers independently highlighted document extracts related to key descriptions of violence and its prevention.
A third researcher performed spot-checks to ensure the consistency of themes and alignment with the study aims. The findings were summarized with illustrations drawn from selected documents 30 — Most of the selected legislative documents recognized violence as a national priority, focusing on specific violence-related behavior and emphasizing enforcement.
Government's Programme of Action, the Presidency's 12 Key Outcomes, NDP, and several ministries all emphasize the high levels of violence and call for the reduction of risk factors For instance, South Africa's violence problem is even viewed as an obstacle to the mainstreaming of alternative modes of transport, including walking and cycling. Street lights invite more and more people to walk because they indicate safety, and to the extent that they are always lit […] they provide necessary levels of surveillance and pedestrians being seen by others who can help in the event of difficulties and insecurity.
Despite this prioritization, the current analysis revealed a number of limitations in the selected legislative documents. First, documents often lacked clear definitions of violence prevention terms. Many documents used the terms violence and injury , or crime and other terms from criminological typologies, yet these were not explicitly defined.
The final draft of the National Scholar Transport Policy, for example, extensively refers to injuries, hijacking, violence, safety, and security, but without explicit definitions Safety and security were used in several documents, with safety tending to be associated with unintentional or accidental injury and security linked to intentional injury arising from violence.
Although the documents make some reference to violence, with the accent on interpersonal and criminal-related violence, the use of the terms do not always resonate with international conventions 15 , 18 , Second, the analyzed documents do not appear to recognize the full typology of violence evident in South Africa, with no differentiation of certain disaggregated forms of violence. For instance, within interpersonal categories there was typically no distinction between stranger and intimate partner violence; within collective violence, there was no distinction between gang as opposed to community-organized violence Third, the existing typological definitions tended to only refer to criminological and legal conceptions.
International illustrations indicate that comprehensive definitions are required to guide effective violence prevention 15 ,
Domestic Violence and Abuse
Quite recently and with the help of social media, evidence has continued to grow through news, videos and photographs which reveals that though under-reported, under-discussed and under-documented and under-acknowledged, domestic violence against males is a major issue around the globe that needs urgent attention. Domestic violence is a major issue in South Africa and domestic violence occurs every single day. South Africa is rated as one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to domestic violence and sadly not much is done in South Africa to fight male domestic violence. Most cases of domestic violence are reported by women, because women are more likely to report it and because the society we live in is more patriarchal.
Gender-based violence GBV has been pervasive across the course of human history. While GBV has always been characterised by female victimhood and male perpetration, it is worth noting that this definition makes no explicit reference to the gender of either the victim or the perpetrator. The possibility, then, of male victimhood, is important to consider. This is not to deny that most of the energy and resources should focus on women and girls as victims and indeed on marginalised victims such as trans people, gay men and lesbian women, and people who are gender variant. But in shining a light on mostly heterosexual men as victims, we open the door to helping such men, and we introduce necessary complexity and nuance in a field which may have closed the door on male victimhood.
Gender-based violence in South Africa
Family law. Forfeiture of Assets in a Divorce. UK Divorce Laws. Marriage and Relationship Therapists. Conflict and dispute-resolution mechanisms. Maintenance and Cohabitation Sample Cohabitation Agreement Engagement and the law Formalities for marriage in south africa. Domestic Violence and Abuse. South Africa has one of the highest incidences of domestic violence in the world.
Male Domestic Violence In South Africa And Nigeria
Domestic violence in South Africa has been viewed as a private matter until the last few decades. In the financial year, just over one-third of the crimes against women that had been reported were prosecuted in court. Legislation has been passed to help improve the quality of life for those being abused and to prevent further abuse. Although the movement against domestic violence is a relatively new movement, it has been making great strides in the country since the s.
Domestic violence in South Africa
How communities are addressing violence against women in South Africa