Wife battering and its impact on the nuclear family: A case study of Nairobi province
This study sought to explore, " Wife battering and its impact on the Nuclear Family: A case study of Nairobi Province." The interest to carry out this research was prompted by the fact that domestic violence, specifically wife battering, has always been rampant in Kenya. Although wife battering adversely affects the lives of the individual members in the nuclear family and society as a whole, the practice has been to a large extent condoned in most African societies as a way of disciplining a wife or showing love. Despite a lot of global efforts put in to deal with the menace, the issue has alarmingly become more complicated day by day. Because of these reasons, therefore, there was need to carry out a study of this magnitude: 1. To explore factors that lead to wife battering in the nuclear family. 11. To examine the broad impact that wife battering has on the nuclear family. 111. To explore the survival techniques used by battered women in the management of wife battering in Kenya. IV. To establish intervention strategies that can help deal with the menace. Several psychological and sociological theories were used to give meanmgs and explanations to the research findings. The study however, engaged three main theories namely the Feminist Theory (Approach), the Social Learning Theory and the Survivor Theory. Most of the theories that deal with wife battering are related and complement or supplement one another thus although the three theories were used as the main theories of study, a lot more were mentioned in passing such as the theory of wife assault, the structural theory, Family Systems theory, the Frustration-aggression theory, the Learned Helplessness theory as well as the Cycle theory of violence. This study concluded that wife battering had adversely socially, psychologically, physically or medically affected all the individual members of the nuclear family as well as the society as a whole and so should be curbed at any cost. In order to curb wife battering the study recommended that the Government, the Non- Governmental 0 rganizations that deal with domestic violence, the community as a whole,the nuclear family as a unit and the individual members of the nuclear family join hands so as to bring peace in families; this can be done by creating public awareness, education, counselling and empowering women all round so as to equip them with the necessary skills needed to fight the vice. In order to achieve violence-free families, dialogue was seen as a very important tool that must be employed at all levels in society. Part played by each member of the nuclear family especially the husband was seen to be very crucial in stopping domestic violence. At the end of the study, four hypotheses were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The quantitative analysis was done using frequencies, cross tabulations, Chi-square tests (x2) and Karl Pearson's (r) tests. The qualitative analysis was done by analyzing the views and opinions of the respondents backed up by the ideas of the key informants as well as the participants of the focus group discussions. In summary the results of the hypotheses were as follows: 1. The hypothesis was rej ected. There was no relationship between socio-cultural beliefs of the victim and her awareness of being in a relationship where she was being battered. 11. The second hypothesis was accepted when the study revealed how adversely wife battering had affected the functioning of each individual member of the nuclear family as well as the whole nuclear family as a unit. 111. The hypothesis was rejected. There was generally no relationship between survival techniques sought by battered women as a result of wife battering and the socio-economic status of the victim. There was however, a negative relationship between monthly income and battered women's decision to seek help from friends e.g. neighbours and colleagues. As monthly income increased, the number of women who sought counseling from friends decreased. IV. The fourth hypothesis was accepted by all the respondents backed up by the key informants as well as all the women who participated in the focus group discussions that more women would seek help if they were aware of the existing intervention strategies of redressing wife battering.