Critical Discourse Analysis: Narratives of Gender-Based Violence Victims in Bamenda-Cameroon (Published)
Gendered roles ascribed to members of society form the basis for their acceptance or rejection in that society. Whether subtle or overt violence, the effects are far-reaching and traumatizing on the victims, be they women, men, or children. This is obvious in discourses revealed in narratives of the violated. The questions asked are; how do the violated express themselves? What are the causes and effects of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and how can it be curbed in society? Since language is a powerful instrument used in communicating feelings and thoughts especially, the language used in narratives surrounding domestic abuse forms the data for this paper. Data was collected from 29 participants between the ages of 25 and 50, using ethnographic approaches, particularly semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. The theoretical bases were Fairclough’s Three-Dimensional Model which dwells on Description, Interpretation, and Explanation and Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics with a focus on the ideational and interpersonal metafunctions. The analysis revealed that illiteracy, ignorance, dependency and poverty as some of the causes of GBV. Additionally, the analysis revealed that language patterns in transitivity are used by the victims in their struggle to maintain emotional balance and fight the existing cultural and societal stereotypes concerning how gender and sexuality affect their mental health. This paper, therefore, recommends the creation of safe spaces to enable victims of domestic violence to express their trauma and find healing in the process of narration.