Original Research

Wife beating amongst Africans as a challenge to pastoral care

Magezi E. Baloyi
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 47, No 1 | a713 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v47i1.713 | © 2013 Magezi E. Baloyi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 March 2013 | Published: 29 November 2013

About the author(s)

Magezi E. Baloyi, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa


Traditional African people are known for respecting their marriage. Even though marriage is so highly regarded, it is astonishing to realise that wife beating has become an extremely common practice amongst them. It therefore becomes an important research question to ask about the extent to which deeply-seated traditional customs regarding wife beating as a form of stamping down authority and of trying to keep the household in order, will have to be confronted with what is deemed to be good practice from the perspective of the law, community and pastoral caregivers. There are women who live with scars on their faces and bodies, having been beaten by their husbands. Although there are many forms of abuse towards women in family situations, this article aims particularly to focus on wife beating that is practiced for traditional as well as other related reasons. This research will involve itself with establishing whether the reasons for wife beating are part of the traditional system for keeping the household in order and interrogate both legal and pastoral interventions that attempt to eliminate or avoid such behaviour.

Tradisionele Afrikane is nog altyd daarvoor bekend dat hulle die instelling van die huwelik respekteer. Verbasend genoeg is vroueslanery egter ’n ou gevestigde gebruik wat vandag algemeen onder Afrikane voorkom. Die mate waartoe diepgewortelde gebruike soos vroueslanery as ’n manier om gesag af te dwing en orde in die huis te handhaaf, gekonfronteer sal moet word met wat as goeie praktyk beskou word vanuit die gesigspunt van die reg, die gemeenskap en pastorale versorgers, is dus ’n belangrike navorsingsvraag. Baie vroue dra fisiese en emosionele littekens wat deur hulle eggenote veroorsaak is. Alhoewel daar baie vorme van vrouemishandeling in familiesituasies voorkom, fokus hierdie artikel veral op vroueslanery wat om tradisionele en verwante redes beoefen word. Hierdie navorsing probeer vasstel of die redes vir vroueslanery deel van die tradisionele sisteem uitmaak waarvolgens orde in die huishouding gehandhaaf is. Dit ondersoek regs- sowel as pastorale ingryping wat sodanige gedrag probeer elimineer of voorkom.


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