The most effective approaches to reduce intimate partner violence: What the evidence shows
- Impact Area
Intimate partner violence (IPV) remains a global human rights and public health challenge. Recent estimates suggest that 27% of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15-49 have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, with the highest rates in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). IPV has major implications for the health and well-being of women, their families, and communities. Even prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was not on track to meet Sustainable Development Goal 5.2, calling for the elimination of IPV, and evidence suggests the pandemic has only increased its prevalence.
How can intimate partner violence be prevented? One increasingly widespread strategy in LMICs centers around community mobilization or group-based trainings—targeting women, men, or couples—to change attitudes and behaviors linked to violence, usually implemented by non-governmental organizations. Prominent examples include SASA! (first implemented in Uganda), and Unite for a Better Life (first implemented in Ethiopia). The theory of change for these programs is straightforward: Shifting community attitudes and individual behaviors through peer-led and participatory processes will prevent violence.