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Abstract

The Domestic Violence Act of Zimbabwe was enacted in response to an escalation in cases of domestic violence. In spite of the enactment of the Act, domestic violence continues and there is limited utilisation of the provisions of the law. This paper seeks to identify factors that militate against the utilisation of provisions of the Act by victims of domestic violence. Twenty-two Christian women who were abused by their male intimate partners participated in the study on which this paper is based. A qualitative design, influenced by the feminist perspective, was adopted for this study. Purposeful sampling was applied in selecting participants who took part in in-depth semi-structured interviews. Participants were given an opportunity to share their individual experiences. Data were analysed thematically. The study revealed that religious, cultural and economic reasons prevented most victims of domestic violence from seeking legal recourse. It was recommended that successful implementation of laws relating to domestic violence needs a coordinated response from all sectors. Recommendations for further research were also made.

Note on the Author

Excellent Chireshe, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe. She earned her Doctor of Literature and Philosophy in Religious Studies from the University of South Africa (UNISA), and her MA and BA in Religious Studies from the University of Zimbabwe. Her research interests include issues of gender, sociology of religion, and religion and ethics. She conducted the study on which this article is based as a doctoral student.

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