Investigating social-cultural factors contributing to low reporting levels of gender-based violence cases
AbstractIntroduction: Gender-based violence remains a critical societal concern, characterized by both its prevalence and the challenge of underreporting. Understanding the social-cultural factors contributing to low reporting levels of GBV cases is essential for effective intervention. This qualitative case study aimed investigating the social-cultural factors that hinder the reporting of GBV cases within the context of Chibuluma compound in Zambia's Copperbelt Province. Materials and Methods: Employing qualitative methods, the study involved interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders including police officers, YWCA officials, and women residing in the compound. Results: The findings reveal a complex interplay of factors that contribute to low reporting levels of GBV cases. Economic dependency on spouses, cultural norms that tolerate violence, and lack of trust in the judicial system emerged as prominent barriers. Marital violence took various forms, including wife battery, abandonment, and infidelity Conclusion: The study highlights the necessity of collaborative efforts involving governmental agencies, non- governmental organizations, and international bodies to effectively address GBV. Recommendations include fostering women's economic empowerment, strengthening legal enforcement mechanisms, and challenging cultural norms that perpetuate violence. By uncovering the intricate socio-cultural dynamics contributing to underreporting, this research offers valuable insights for designing comprehensive strategies to combat gender-based violence in Chibuluma compound and beyond.
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