Investigating the role and effectiveness of intervention strategies employed by six organisations dealing with intimate partner violence in Lesotho.
Matela, Lebohang Irene.
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Intimate partner violence ((IPV) has become an epidemic with ever-rising statistics of women battered and murdered by their intimate partners. Although IPV is on the rise globally, it is a heightened problem in the poorest countries, especially in the poor neighbourhoods of those countries. Persistently rising statistics on IPV against women in African societies is a clear indication of the status of women in those societies. The low social status of women makes them prone to violence in society and in intimate spaces. IPV paralyses all members of society and affects individual functioning and well-being. Even though IPV has been studied thoroughly in many countries, the literature review has indicated that not much has been done in Lesotho to study IPV, especially with a focus on its socio-cultural context and identifying strategies used by organisations dealing with battered women. Most importantly, there is a lack of investigation and documentation of the effectiveness of strategies implemented to address IPV. Using a qualitative approach, this study teased out the socio-cultural determinants of IPV from the perspectives of both the perpetrators and the survivors of IPV, although the focus was on women. Data demonstrates that the cultural understanding of women influences their relations with men. The study also highlights how the issue of discourse, such as Sesotho proverbs, has contributed to perpetuate violence against women and promote women’s complacency in the situation. The study reveals how survivors use strategies to overcome violence and how access to information plays a critical role in women taking charge of their lives in the midst of their ordeals. It also discusses psychosocial support as vital for the well-being of survivors of IPV and argues for psychosocial support that has an empowerment model with microfinancing for survivors. This research argues for the Confrontation approach to IPV using three prevention strategies simultaneously to address it, namely, primary, secondary and tertiary prevention strategies.