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Journal Article


Mannell J, Seyed-Raeisy I, Burgess R, Campbell C. PLoS One 2018; 13(5): e0196584.


Department of Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom.


(Copyright © 2018, Public Library of Science)






Intimate partner violence (IPV) has significant impacts on mental health. Community-focused interventions have shown promising results for addressing IPV in low-income countries, however, little is known about the implications of these interventions for women's mental wellbeing. This paper analyses data from a community-focused policy intervention in Rwanda collected in 2013-14, including focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with community members (n = 59). Our findings point to three ways in which these community members responded to IPV: (1) reconciling couples experiencing violence, (2) engaging community support through raising cases of IPV during community discussions, (3) navigating resources for women experiencing IPV, including police, social services and legal support. These community responses support women experiencing violence by helping them access available resources and by engaging in community discussions. However, assistance is largely only offered to married women and responses tend to focus exclusively on physical rather than psychological or emotional forms of violence. Drawing on Campbell and Burgess's (2012) framework for 'community mental health competence', we interrogate the potential implications of these responses for the mental wellbeing of women affected by violence. We conclude by drawing attention to the gendered nature of community responses to IPV and the potential impacts this may have for the mental health of women experiencing IPV.

Language: en


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