A pastoral psychological approach to domestic violence in South Africa

22 Jan 2015

South Africa suffers a scourge of domestic violence. Colonial oppression upset the delicate balance between ‘discipline’ and ‘protection’ in traditional cultures. The full consequence of a patriarchal mindset of male control is unleashed on girls and women. The aim of this article is to investigate how the cycle of domestic violence can be broken and what role pastoral counsellors can play with regard to both victims and offenders in order to prevent history from repeating itself. The article also investigates the extent to which legislation has succeeded in protecting individuals. Pastoral care and counselling comprise both spiritual and emotional support. The combination of two counselling methods compatible with religious themes such as ‘hope’ and ‘new life’, namely logotherapy (Victor Frankl) and narrative pastoral counselling, is presented as an effective response to domestic violence.