What works to prevent partner violence? An evidence overview

What works to prevent partner violence? An evidence overview

This evidence overview, which was funded by DFID, reviews existing empirical evidence on what works in low and middle income countries to prevent violence against women by their husbands or other male partners. It focuses on efforts to prevent violence, rather than those focusing on mitigation or response, and it prioritises programmes that have been evaluated using rigorous methods. It draws on a conceptual understanding of violence known as the ecological model of abuse. This model sees no single explanation of partner violence, rather it sees many factors at work within the ‘social ecology’ of an abusive man, including life histories, personality factors, context and situation, and common messages and norms reinforced by friends, family and social institutions. The report contains six main sections, each of which considers a particular contributory factor and the evidence that links it to partner violence. These sections are:

1. Scope and aim of the review
2. Changing social norms and behaviour
3. Exposure to violence in childhood
4. Harmful alcohol and partner violence
5. Violence and women’s economic empowerment
6. Legal and justice system interventions

In addition, the appendix contains examples of promising projects that have not yet been fully evaluated. The final section on improving the violence evidence base includes specific recommendations for researchers and research sponsors. In order to improve understanding on the causes of partner violence, the review recommends that future research should use cohort studies to tease out causal pathways, and encourage more cross-working between the different parties working in the area.

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