n Gender and Behaviour - Domestic violence as a 'class thing' : perspectives from a South African township

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



The popular discourse on domestic violence in South Africa highlights the preponderance of domestic violence among low income earners, living mainly in black townships. To illustrate the trajectory of this view, it is estimated that one in every four women is assaulted by their partners every week, and one woman is killed every six hours by her partner. Another strand of this discourse is that domestic violence is steeped in the inherent patriarchal nature of the South African society - in which women are denied basic rights by their male dominant society.While these views explain the basic ideas of the discourse on domestic violence, it is framed around the entrenched normative notion of poverty-violence nexus. It does not explain, for example, violence among the middle class and powerful households in the South African society. Using the empirical data from Mamelodi, a black township in Pretoria, this paper probes the poverty-violence discourse on domestic violence in South Africa. The paper uses qualitative data in its analysis.

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