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A verbal audit to determine the consequences of domestic violence among 50 women at a shelter for abused women in Lusaka, Zambia
  1. R E Mtonga*
  1. Correspondence Mthunzi Medical Centre, P.O BOX 31456, Fern Groove, Lusaka 10101, Zambia


Summary 50 women were enlisted with ages ranging between 18 and 49 years Verbal threats physical beatings, verbal abuse and non-consensual sexual intercourse were the forms Domestic violence took.

Method A semistructured schedule based on Convenience sampling Method was used. The 50 women were drawn from a drop-in centre for abused women in Lusaka.

Results 29 out of 50 or 58% were married, 7 or 14% were single, 6 or 12% were divorcees and 8 or 16% were widowed.

38 (6%) lived in high density or medium cost housing, 11 or 22% where from low density housing.

Of the 14 that responded to the question of education status, 12 or 86% had primary education while only 2 or 15% had secondary education. 12 of the 14 or 85% were unemployed. 33 out the 50 or 66% reported battering by the intimate partner.

Outcomes included non-consensual sexual intercourse 30%, 26% had unplanned pregnancies, 16% or 8 had sexually transmitted diseases, while 6 or 12.5% contemplated divorce. 66% of the women even contemplated suicide.

15 or 30% said their spouses often took alcohol in excess.

Injuries included lacerations 5 (10%), bruises 19 (38%), brunt trauma 3 or 6% while the rest had undefined injuries.

Discussions and conclusions Domestic violence, perpetrated by intimate sexual partners who often took alcohol is common and manifested as non-consensual sex, batterings partners and verbal abuse. Psychosocial trauma, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, attempted suicides and physical injuries were effects.

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