Original Research

Interpersonal violence amongst primary health care patients in Lesotho: A qualitative study of the reasons for assault

Kabilabe N.W. Ngobale, Gboyega A. Ogunbanjo, Olufemi B. Omole
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 5, No 1 | a473 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v5i1.473 | © 2013 Kabilabe N.W. Ngobale, Gboyega A. Ogunbanjo, Olufemi B. Omole | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 July 2012 | Published: 24 June 2013

About the author(s)

Kabilabe N.W. Ngobale, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, University of Limpopo, South Africa
Gboyega A. Ogunbanjo, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, University of Limpopo, South Africa
Olufemi B. Omole, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, University of Limpopo, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Interpersonal violence is a common cause of morbidity and mortality. The incidence of and weapons used in interpersonal violence vary amongst countries and may even vary within regions of a country. Substance abuse, including alcohol, has been linked to interpersonal violence, but other socio-economic factors, cultural and traditional practices may also influence the perpetration of violence.

Methods: In 2002, a qualitative study was conducted to explore the experiences of physically assaulted victims of interpersonal violence at a local clinic in Leribe district of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Results: Aggravating factors for interpersonal violence included jealousy, unemployment, availability of weapons, substance abuse and poor levels of education. Interpersonal violence was ameliorated by family interventions, reporting to the authorities, seeking protection fromassailants and religious assistance. Most interpersonal violence occurred during the night and on weekends. The head and neck regions are the most common anatomical sites of injury.

Conclusion: Emotional and socio-cultural factors aggravate interpersonal violence in Lesotho, whilst family and religious interventions ameliorate it. Legislation addressing the protection of victims needs to be enacted, and community agencies dealing with interpersonal violence should be established. Studies which assess the requirements and the feasibility of intervention programs are also needed in the kingdom of Lesotho.


Keywords

interpersonal violence; experience

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