Intimate Partner Violence and the Faith Factor Influence
An Examination of the case of Giriama Women’s Struggles, Kilifi County, Kenya (2017 –2019)
The research article is based on a broader research project that set out to investigate the influence of Christian teachings and biblical texts on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) among the Christian Women of Kilifi County of Kenya. Its specific focus is on how faith became a key coping strategy for women swimming in the troubled waters of IPV. Methodologically, it relied on oral interviews that were conducted among 30 women, 10 pastors, and 12 community leaders in Kilifi County. Overall, the research article argues that faith, in the larger realm of religion, is not only used to normalize IPV, but also utilized as a coping tool by victims. This further fuels a vice that is rooted in Judeo-African patriarchal ideals. Yet it has also established that some women adopted alternative strategies, outside the religious realm, so as to cope with the harsh reality surrounding them. The latter lost faith in religious approaches, and eventually adopted non-religious strategies in their endeavor to manage their circumstances. The need to revisit the idea of ‘separation’ and/or divorce, as a pragmatic approach for Christian women facing IPV, has been suggested as a workable strategy where need arises.
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