Women Traditional Psychosocial Coping Mechanisms Against Domestic Violence in Zimbabwe

David Makwerere, Rejoice Rumbidzai Zvavahera, Joyce Zivanai


In spite of the numerous efforts to reduce domestic violence, including a robust legal and constitutional framework, the phenomenon remains high especially among women in rural Zimbabwe. This study examined the reasons why women in rural settings in Mashonaland Central are not willing to utilize the various legal and constitutional instruments for their own protection. The study explored the traditional psychosocial coping mechanisms for women against domestic violence in Mashonaland Central Province of Zimbabwe. The study relied on Galtung’s Conflict, Violence and Peace theory as the theoretical framework. The research was qualitative and employed a case study research design. Snowball sampling and purposive sampling were used to identify survivors of domestic violence and key informants. The study revealed that women are employing traditional psychosocial coping mechanisms such as silence, family support systems, religious belief systems and endurance to cope with violence. These practices are grounded in cultural and social practices purportedly aimed at preserving the family institution. The study concludes that these cultural practices have undermined the good intentions of the legal and constitutional frameworks that are in place to fight domestic violence and women abuse and recommends an approach that tries to deal with these strong cultural beliefs to make the laws effective.


Traditional values; Family; Culture; Psychosocial; Domestic violence; Coping mechanisms

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11983


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