Original Research

‘Hard-pressed on every side’: Christian women’s experiences of intimate partner violence in two provinces of South Africa

Tshilidzi R. Nevhutanda, Mahlasela A. Rakhudu, Lufuno Makhado
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 28 | a2333 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v28i0.2333 | © 2023 Tshilidzi R. Nevhutanda, Mahlasela A. Rakhudu, Lufuno Makhado | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 January 2023 | Published: 06 November 2023

About the author(s)

Tshilidzi R. Nevhutanda, Department of Nursing Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Mahlasela A. Rakhudu, Department of Nursing Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Lufuno Makhado, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Women in South Africa are battling the scourge of intimate partner violence (IPV), and men are usually responsible. Despite this, no studies have been carried out to specifically explore and describe Christian women’s IPV first-hand experiences in the Limpopo and Gauteng provinces.

Aim: This study explored and described lived experiences with regard to IPV among women attending Pentecostal churches in Limpopo and Gauteng provinces.

Setting: The study was conducted in the Makhado Local Municipality, City of Tshwane and Johannesburg metropolitan municipalities.

Methods: The study utilised a qualitative research method, using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Sampling was purposeful. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted to collect data among women attending Pentecostal churches in Limpopo and Gauteng provinces. Data saturation was achieved after 10 survivors were interviewed.

Results: Two themes surfaced from the analysis: the experience of various forms of IPV by survivors and the hardships survivors encountered when seeking help after IPV.

Conclusion: In spite of the salient role Christian belief played in survivors’ lives, the expected support from family, pastors and law enforcement officers after disclosing IPV was non-existent. The survivors were stranded, frustrated and displayed symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Contribution: This study revealed survivors’ need for comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary collaborative support by strengthening partnerships with church leaders to protect Christian women against IPV.


Keywords

Christian women; intimate partner violence; IPV survivors; lived experiences; Pentecostal churches.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 5: Gender equality

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