A victimological analysis of women in abusive relationships in Limpopo province, South Africa

  • W.N. Mathebula
  • N.A. Mbhalati
  • S.L. Sithole
Keywords: Women; Abusive Relationships; Victimological and Women Abuse


This paper analyses the experiences of women in abusive relationships. The central idea of this paper is that women in abusive relationships often become vulnerable and go on to accept upsetting circumstances even though escape is possible. Learned helplessness theory was used to understand the perception of control and how women’s life is affected. Purposive sampling was used to obtain 14 female participants who were living with their male partners and residing in Limpopo Province. Ethical clearance was obtained from the University of Limpopo and gatekeepers’ approval from the Department of Social Development and Department of Health in Limpopo Province. Participation in the study was voluntary, and no one was forced into participating. The study found that women end up believing that they are helpless in terms of leaving an abusive relationship and this is due to poverty, economic shortfalls and dependency. Abuse among women in relationships is major public health concern hence the emphasis on reporting of all forms of abuse to relevant authorities to avoid further victimization.


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eISSN: 1596-9231