The development of social work intervention guidelines for victims of gender-based violence in Umhlathuze Municipality, Kwazulu-Natal

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University of Zululand
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a pervasive and alarming violation of human rights, reaching epidemic proportions in South Africa with a prevalence rate exceeding 50%. This study addresses the urgent need for effective social work interventions by developing comprehensive guidelines tailored to the unique challenges faced by GBV victims in Umhlathuze, KwaZulu-Natal. Resilience theory was used as the study's theoretical framework, the research unfolds through a phenomenological design involving social workers as purposively selected participants for this study. The study's objectives encompassed a situational analysis of current social work interventions, exploration of social worker expertise in GBV, evaluation of stakeholder roles in victim empowerment, and the ultimate development of social work intervention guidelines for assisting victims of GBV. The Design and Development model, adapted from Rothman and Thomas (1994), guided the study through four phases: problem identification, data collection and literature synthesis, guideline design, and guideline development. The key findings revealed a generalist approach in existing social work services for GBV victims, prompting the need for specialized intervention guidelines. The guidelines, informed by resilience theory, combined insights from existing programmes and literature, emphasising the integration of social work theories and legislation. Recommendations underscored continuous training for social workers to enhance their capacity in navigating policies and legislation pertinent to GBV interventions. This study contributes a vital resource for social workers engaged in GBV intervention, offering a comprehensive framework informed by both theoretical underpinnings and practical considerations. The proposed guidelines address critical gaps in current practices, emphasising the importance of specialised training to strengthen the multifaceted role of social workers in combatting the pervasive issue of gender-based violence.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work in the Department of Social Work at the University of Zululand, South Africa [2023].