Exploring the counter-narratives of women living in domestic violence shelters in the Western Cape
Domestic violence is a public health problem in the Western Cape, South Africa. Domestic violence cuts across and affects all races, cultures and class. Women are mostly affected by the domestic violence as they are marginalised and seen as weak. The Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 was adopted to identify domestic violence as a crime and to eradicate the phenomenon; however domestic violence has since increased. The domestic violence shelters were established to accommodate women experiencing or subjected to violence. These services were made available to take care of the women’s immediate needs. The domestic violence shelter is thus an ideal place to explore the implementation and usage of the counter-narrative concept. The aim of the study was to explore and describe counter-narratives of women in domestic violence shelters. The objective of the study was to explore and describe how domestic violence shelters can support counter-narratives of women living in domestic violence shelters. A qualitative approach was applied by utilising a descriptive design. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews with 26 women in domestic violence shelters in the Western Cape. Section A consists of Part 1 and Part 2 and Section B consists of Article 1 and Article 2, which reflect the experiences of the women in the domestic violence shelters. The results of the study revealed that the women produced counter-narratives which resisted the dominant cultural narratives of domestic violence. Furthermore, the women identified their goals and took responsibility for their own lives. The findings showed that the women had learned new skills and rediscovered forgotten skills, both of which would assist them in becoming financially independent. The social workers in the domestic violence shelters should be trained in the concept of counter-narratives and explore the usage thereof. The Department of Social Development should make funding available for women to receive holistic and comprehensive therapeutic services in the domestic violence shelter.
- Health Sciences