• Violence Alcohol Treatment Zambia (VATU) Violence Alcohol Treatment Zambia (VATU)

    Zambia | Serenity Harm Reduction Programme

    This is a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectivess of a multipronged intervention in reducing violence against women and girls/youth (VAWG) by addressing a number of identified risk factors, for example childhood abuse, domestic violence, alcohol use. The intervention is designed to research supporting multi-modal treatments, and to model after how organizations may incorporate a program to prevent violence.


The Applied Mental Health Research group (AMHR) began investigating mental health in the Southern African country of Zambia in 2004.

Community-based needs assessments provided insight into the prevalence of mental health issues in local communities, identifying trauma and grief as major problems with few local services available. Among children, our own qualitative data demonstrated that child sexual abuse and polyvictimization are both common in Zambia. These seemingly interrelated factors led to an adapted treatment approach, designed to address mental health, alcohol abuse, and violence together, affecting women and families in low/middle resource countries around the world.

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07 December 2018

CETA is based on the fact that most evidence-based mental health treatments (EBTs) (most of which are cognitive behavioral) are made of similar elements or components. For example, most evidence-based treatments for a variety of disorders all contain psychoeducation, and cognitive coping. The idea is to train counselors in a range of different components that are similar across EBTs, and then teach them how to choose different orders and “dose” of components based on a client’s presenting problems.

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10 October 2018

Kane J, Skavenski Van wyk S, Murray SM, Bolton P, Melendez F, Kmett Danielson C, Chimponda P, Munthali S, Murray LK. (2017) Testing the effectiveness of a transdiagnostic treatment approach in reducing intimate partner violence and alcohol abuse among families in Zambia: Study protocol of the Violence and Alcohol Treatment (VATU) trial. Global Mental Health, 4 (18).

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01 June 2017