CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES OF GENDER BASED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: A CASE OF CENTRAL DIVISION OF KITUI DISTRICT, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Gender based domestic violence is prevalent in both developed and developing countries. It is in fact a major constraint to development in many parts of the world. However, it seems that the causes, consequences and management strategies used in different places vary. In Kenya, surveys on gender based domestic violence have been done in areas such as Nairobi and Kisii. In effect, there is need to study this vice in other parts of the country. This study was therefore carried out in Central Division of Kitui District and its purpose was to analyse the causes and consequences of gender based domestic violence. More so, the study attempted to find out if there are management strategies used to address the problem. The research type was a descriptive study that used ex post facto research design. Sampling was done from a population of 24, 792 married men and women. The sample was composed of 200 married men and women. However, after data collection only 106 questionnaires were returned. On the other hand, eighty (80) respondents were interviewed making the total number of respondents used in the data analysis equal to 186. The main study instrument was a questionnaire and its reliability was calculated using Cronbach’s reliability coefficient, which was found to be 0.72. Data collected was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5. Frequencies and percentages were used to analyse the causes, consequences, and management strategies addressing gender based domestic violence. In addition, the Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient and the t-test were utilized to establish if there was a statistically significant relationship between the rate of violence and the level of education, level of income, and the rate of alcohol consumption. Further, the t-test was used to examine if there was a statistically significant difference between the rate of violence among men and women. The level of significance was acceptable at α = 0.05. Results from this study showed that alcohol consumption was a major cause of domestic violence. Mental stress, reduced family income and poor family health were some of the mentioned consequences of gender violence. There was a significant relationship between the rate of violence and the level of education, the level of income and the rate of alcohol consumption. The study findings also showed a statistically insignificant difference in the rate of violence between married men and women. Therefore, it was recommended that there is need for education on harmonious family living, provision of guidance and counselling services to the affected population, and formulation of policies that lead to legal procedures in settling of family disputes.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
According to the United Nations General Assembly (1993), gender based domestic violence involves men and women and usually results in physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to the victims. It also includes threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. A study from World Health Organisation (1996) indicates that between 16% and 52% of women worldwide are physically assaulted by an intimate partner at least once in their lives. In addition, according to the Inter-American Development Bank's special report on domestic violence in 1999, gender based violence results in direct loss of money due to health care, police, court costs and productivity. Besides financial losses, gender based violence has also been identified as a contributory factor to maternal mortality rate by 55 percent (World Bank, 1993).

Further, the World Health Organisation in 1996 documented that, among women aged 15-44 years, gender violence often leads to death and disability. In addition, studies in India, Bangladesh, the USA, Papua, New Guinea and Peru indicate a high correlation between domestic violence and suicide rates (WHO, 1997). Statistics published in 1997 by the World Health Organization on studies conducted in 24 countries in America, Europe and Asia revealed that between 20% and 50% of the women interviewed reported that they suffered physical abuse from their male partners. More over, according to an international report on the status of women in 140 countries, the number of women reporting physical abuse by a male partner during the period 1986-1993 was 21% to 60% (Neft & Levine, 1997).

Besides, a study done in South Africa showed that one adult woman out of every six is assaulted regularly by her mate. In at least 46% of these cases, the men involved also abuse the women's children (Russell, 1991). In addition, a study in northern Nigeria found that 16% of female patients seeking treatment for STDs were children under the age of five and 10% of these were cases of incest (UNFPA, 1999).

In a representative sample taken from two districts of Uganda, women between 20-44 years reported that 41% had been beaten or physically harmed by a partner (Blanc et al, 1996). In Kenya, data collected from a Baseline survey among women in Nairobi indicated that 50% of women interviewed reported an experience of domestic violence thus indicating a reasonably high prevalence of the vice. Consequently, further research especially involving both men and women in other parts of the country has been recommended (Federation of women lawyers (FIDA, 2001). In Kitui district research on gender based domestic violence has not been done. However surveys on human rights violation have been conducted by FAIDA a non-governmental organisation where cases of gender violence take 80% of the total human rights violation acts in the district (FAIDA, 2002). This organisation further documented that 30% of these gender violence cases were reported from the central division of Kitui district.

The health consequences of Gender-based violence (GBDV) according to Heisse (1999) include short-term health effects that have non-fatal outcomes such as minor cuts, headaches, pains and bruises. In addition, the long-term health outcomes include organ damage, chronic disabilities, mental disorders, depression, pregnancy complications and even fatal consequences such as suicide and murder. For majority of women, the persistent insults, abuse, confinement, harassment and deprivation of financial and physical resources may prove more harmful than physical attacks and result in women living in a permanent state of fear and sub-standard, mental and physical health (UNFPA, 1999). In support of this, the WHO information tool on violence notes that women have reported that the mental torture and living in fear and terror was undoubtedly the worst and most profound and long-lasting aspect of gender-based violence (WHO, 1997).

For many countries, the economic cost of gender based domestic violence is substantial. For example, in Canada, a 1995 study estimated that violence against women costed the country 1.5 billion Canadian dollars lost in reduced labour productivity, and increased medical and community support services (UNICEF, 1987). Often, those who experience physical abuse end up using more medical services due to later complications. Such increased demand for health care services and loss in terms of productivity has become a big milestone to economic development especially among the developing countries (UNPFA, 1999).

It has become increasingly clear that GBDV adversely affects men and women's well being although men’s cases of abuse are rarely reported. However, the manifestations of GBDV often go undetected and a large number of women and men continue living through repeated abuse and assault without any recognition of their ordeal or adequate provision for care or support. Available information on the linkages between violence and psychological ailments comes primarily from research conducted in developed countries. As such, a lot of scientific evidence is required from developing countries.

In order to address and manage the problem of gender based violence, International Conferences and Campaigns have resolved to a large extent in increasing awareness and breaking the wall of silence that surrounded gender based violence. For instance, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women has several provisions, which are applicable to gender based violence (UNFPA, 1999). Nevertheless, women's groups and feminist movements have lobbied and put pressure on governments to enact legislation and policies that punish, prevent or protect women against GBDV. In response, concerned non-governmental organisations have also established programmes and services to either support, care or inform women who have been abused (Neft & Levine, 1997). More often, the Programmes that target changing community attitudes towards GBDV have proved most beneficial (World Bank, 1993).

According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF, 1999), specialist services like residential shelters and refuges, special courts, women's police stations and special desks set up at local police stations have also proved beneficial to women who have survived abuse from their partners. However, there are few specialist refuges for women in developing countries. On the other hand, no management strategies have been set up to address male victims of violence. Clearly, the costs of operating such services require funding beyond the means of most Non-governmental organisations that tend to do most of the innovative work on GBDV in developing countries. http://www.ippf.org/resource/gbv/ma98/1.htm - top

Statement of the Problem
Gender-based domestic violence affects men, women and children. It is a serious problem that transcends racial, economic, social and religious lines. More so, it affects human health, undermines human dignity and in the long run become a major drawback to economic development. When families get involved in gender-based violence, a lot of time is spent in settling of disputes and nursing psychological and physical wounds of violence. This becomes worse where management strategies of gender based domestic violence are not available. In a recent survey done in Kenya (FIDA, 2001), the aspect of management of gender-based Violence was not tackled, yet victims of this vice go through very traumatic experiences. Also, the survey recommended that there is need to include men in studies on gender-based violence. It is with this view that this study involved both men and women and endeavoured to analyse the causes, consequences and management strategies of gender based domestic violence among married men and women.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to identify the causes, the consequences and management strategies of gender based domestic violence in Central Division of Kitui District, Kenya.

Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study were:

(i) To identify the causes of domestic violence among married men and women in Central division of Kitui district.

(ii) To examine the consequences of gender based domestic violence on the victims.

(iii) To find out if there are adopted management strategies of gender based domestic violence in Central division of Kitui district.

(iv) To ascertain the relationship between socio-economic background and the rate of violence.

(v) To determine if there is a relationship between the rates of Alcohol consumption and the rate of violence.

(vi) To determine if there is a statistically significant difference in the rate of violence among married men and women in Central Division of Kitui district.

Research Questions
Research questions in this study included: -

(i) What are the causes of domestic violence among married men and women in Central Division of Kitui District?

(ii) What are the consequences of gender based domestic violence to the victims in Central Division of Kitui District?

(iii) Are there management strategies adopted to address gender based domestic violence in Central Division of Kitui District?

Hypotheses of the Study
The following hypotheses were tested:

HO1: There is no statistically significant relationship between socio economic background and the rate of violence among married men and women in Central Division of Kitui District.

HO2: There is no statistically significant relationship between the rate of alcohol consumption and the rate of violence among married men and women in Central Division of Kitui District.

HO3: There is no significant difference in the rate of violence between married men and women in Central Division of Kitui District

Significance of the Study
The findings of this study are expected to enlighten individuals and the community on the causes and consequences of gender based violence in this area. In addition, the study is likely to inform health care providers in this area of the need for sensitivity to recognize domestic violence and offer support services where necessary. It is also expected that the findings of this study should expose community-derived methods of managing and resolving the problem of gender-based domestic violence. Further, the findings of the study should draw attention to governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in fighting for human rights and especially those against domestic violence so that they may intensify their activities in this area. Social workers and counsellors who try to change attitudes on violence should use the findings to create awareness in the society. Finally, the results from the study should show the need for the government to formulate policies that address this problem.

Scope of the Study
The scope of the study was limited to examining issues of domestic violence in four areas: - physical, psychological, sexual and economic abuse. In addition, the sample was confined to men and women in a marriage relationship in Central division of Kitui district only, thus generalization was made to this study area only. The management strategies considered included support groups such as Non Governmental Organisations and Hospitals. Other service providers such as chiefs, relatives, friends, police, religious leaders and psychological counsellors were also included.

Assumptions of the Study
The assumptions of the study included the following:

(i) That the respondents would co-operate and give required information accurately, honestly and trustfully.

(ii) That all the areas of the division would be accessible.

(iii) That gender based domestic violence was prevalent among men and women in the chosen area of study.

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 78 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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