Studies have shown that gender-based violence is more prevalent in Africa than on any other continent on the planet. Evidence of this is provided by Bowman-Gilfillan’s study where they conducted interviews with women all over the continent, and the results are shocking.
According to the study, approximately 45% of women in Africa over the age of 15 years have experienced physical violence either within an intimate relationship or as part of a sexual encounter with those from the opposite sex. The study indicates that there are a number of factors that are considered to be root causes and contributors to gender-based violence on the continent:
- lack of basic education
- misuse and abuse of alcohol (alcoholism)
- extreme gender inequality
- child abuse and neglect
- regional conflict and exposure to violence
Many of these factors involve the male’s personal development, or lack thereof. If the male child is abused or neglected he is most likely to become an abuser at a later stage in his life. Additionally, if he is exposed to extreme amounts of violence, then the same is true. Because many countries in Africa have experienced periods of violent warfare in the last 2-3 decades, the exposure to violence is considered a major factor in the use of physical violence alongside sexual assault.
Studies indicate that programmes are required in order to alleviate the problem in the poorer communities. Community-based initiatives and educational programmes in schools can teach younger men the importance of gender equality. However, even women in fully developed communities are also at risk of gender-based violence. In these cases it is important that women empower themselves and make use of protection orders against abusive men. Charges should be laid against abusers at the nearest police station so that justice may be served appropriately.
If there is any evidence of abuse inflicted by a parent in the home, that parent is unfit to have custody of his/her children. Report cases of domestic abuse, and if you require a professional and experienced child custody attorney don’t hesitate to contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today!