Examination of the role of church leaders in averting gender based violence in Imenti south Sub County,Meru County,Kenya
Nkaabu, David Muuro
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Gender based violence is violation of human rights and it is affecting men, women, and children spiritually, physically and emotionally. The Church leadership is being looked at when it comes to averting violence at communal and family levels. The purpose of the study was to examine the role of the Church leaders in averting gender based violence in Imenti South Sub-county. The study was guided by four objectives: To determine instructional role of Church leaders in averting gender based violence in Imenti South Sub-county, Kenya, To examine the influence of pastoral programs in averting gender based violence in Imenti South Sub-county, Kenya, To assess the influence of Church leaders’ advocacy against gender base violence in Imenti South Sub-county and to analyze the influence of Church leaders conflict resolution on gender based violence in Imenti South Sub-county. The study was carried out in Imenti South Sub-County, Kenya with a focus on Church leaders under the National Council of Churches of Kenya. The study was based on descriptive survey design. The target population in this study included 144 church leaders from different denominations and 153 victims of gender-based violence. Purposive sampling was employed to sample 45 Church leaders and 44 victims of gender based violence. The gender based violence victims include men and women in Imenti South Sub-County, Kenya. Data was collected using questionnaires for Church leaders and scheduled group interviews for gender based violence victims. The data was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively and presented using tables and figures. This study concluded that the church leaders play an important role in the disclosure of abuse because of the trust by individual, families and community as a whole. Many women do not choose to reveal abuse to other agencies in the community or even policemen because they do not have a history of trust with them as they do to church leaders. The Church provides resources, emotional support, spiritual support and help with activism to help prevent a similar repetition of violence down the road, and they are also a prayer support for the victim. This study recommends that church leaders to organize conferences, seminars and training where the faithful get the opportunity to open up and get help needed. Church leaders have a role to teach members to co-exist in harmony with respect and love through workshop and couple’s trainings and seminars. Church leaders have opportunities to take a leading role in creating awareness and advocacy on Gender Based Violence in places where some cultural practices are detouring advances against this vice. The church leaders should also emphasis on the development of relational virtues such as selflessness and unconditional love.