A STUDY OF THE MANAGEMENT OF SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH, OSUN STATE, NIGERIA
This study investigated the prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) and other forms of sexual violence within a religious community, the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in Osun State. It also sought to know how members perceived how such cases are managed both within families and within the church. The study population was 6, 036 SDA membership in Osun State out of which 177 sample size was used based on Fisher’s formula. A questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. The data gathered was analysed using the Statistical software Package for Service Solution (SPSS) version 20.0. This was presented in tables. Percentages were used as descriptors. The Chi-square was used for bi-variate analysis. Frequency tables and percentages were used as descriptors of the sample and for bi-variate analysis, chi-square was used. The level of significance/margin error was set at 0.05 (5%) for accepting or rejecting the research hypothesis. The study established occurrence of domestic violence, rape and sexual assaults within SDA families. It also established the same within the church. Both members and religious leaders were perpetuators of such violence. Although the denomination had family-building orientation programs, they were inadequate in eliminating domestic and sexual violence. Many cases of GBV were unreported because of fear, shame and stigma. The paper concludes with the recommendation to the SDA Church to strengthen its various arms responsible for family-building, counselling, advocacy and sanctioning erring leaders in order to mitigate the occurrence of GBV in the church.