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Journal Article


Stern E, Niyibizi LL. J. Interpers. Violence 2018; 33(11): 1778-1804.


CARE International Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda.


(Copyright © 2018, SAGE Publishing)






Indashyikirwa is a Rwandan program that seeks to prevent intimate partner violence (IPV) and support healthy, equitable relationships. A fundamental program aspect is a 5-month curriculum among heterosexual couples designed to identify the causes and consequences of economic, emotional, physical, and sexual IPV, and build skills to manage triggers of IPV. The program also trained opinion leaders to more effectively prevent and respond to IPV, and established women's safe spaces to educate women about their rights, refer or accompany women who wish to report abuse or seek services. Drawing on 30 interviews with couples and 9 interviews with opinion leaders before and after completing the Indashyikirwa trainings, this article highlights beneficiaries' perceived consequences of IPV, and how such perceptions were influenced through the Indashyikirwa program. Interviews were conducted in Kinyarwanda, recorded, translated, and transcribed into English and analyzed thematically. The data reveal a depth of understanding of consequences of various forms of IPV. Although several participants justified more minor forms of men's physical IPV, such as slapping, severe consequences of physical IPV were most readily identified and sanctioned. Various harms of emotional and economic IPV were reported, yet these forms of IPV were typically less socially sanctioned or identified as IPV. Conceptions of sexual IPV were influenced by inequitable gender norms, and not typically recognized as a violation under the law. Although the data do not yet demonstrate the long-term impact, collectively identifying the overlapping consequences and underlying power inequalities for all forms of IPV, the legal rights protecting against various forms of IPV, and the benefits of nonviolent, equitable relationships, appeared to be helpful to shift perceptions of consequences of IPV. Implications of the findings for the program and broader IPV prevention are identified.

Language: en


cultural contexts; domestic violence; intervention/treatment; perceptions of domestic violence


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