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She knows now that she is something… she values herself

12-year-old Mahnoor – clad in a simple blue and white uniform with the usual head-scarf -skipped home happily after a regular day at school in Hyderabad, Pakistan. With mundane thoughts of school and homework on her mind, she did not focus on the shadow closing in behind her. It was only when a rough hand grabbed her from behind the neck dragging her towards a deserted, dead-ended alley, does Mahnoor realize that she is being assaulted. Realizing the stranger’s ill-intent, Mahnoor snapped out of her reverie, and fought back. Kicking, biting, screaming – she continued her struggle eventually managing to break free from her assailant, and sprint home.

Rachel Kwizera CARE Rwanda

Indashyikirwa (Agents for Change) is an intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention project being implemented across seven Districts in the Western, Northern and Eastern provinces of Rwanda. The programme targets both partners of couples through a series of reflection sessions that challenge causes of gender based violence (GBV) and promote equality.
Ndabaruta Beatrice and Ndayambaje Godefroid are one of the couples that were selected to be a part of the five-month, weekly curriculum.
Beatrice spoke about the difference in her life and relationship before and after participating in the curriculum: “When we got married we didn’t own much, but as time went on, it got worse. We barely had any food in the home because even the little earnings we had my husband spent on alcohol. He always came home late and drunk and he often kicked the door open while hurling insults at me and the children. I became such a miserable person to the extent that I didn’t care whether I took a bath or not, I was not even bothered about body hygiene. I lived in that hopeless situation for seven years”.

The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda was implemented over four years (2014-2018) by CARE Rwanda International, Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, and Rwanda Women’s Network, in rural Rwanda. The programme aimed to reduce IPV, shift social norms and attitudes condoning violence, and provide more empowering responses to survivors.

This practice brief highlights lessons learned from the Indashyikirwa programme on working with couples to prevent IPV. These include the need to design a culturally appropriate curriculum with content that is relevant and appropriate for the target community, and recruit skilled male and female facilitators who over a prolonged period of time can build a rapport with and equip couples with the skills to build healthy, non-violent relationships.

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The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda was funded by the UK department for International Development, with the aim of preventing and reducing intimate partner violence. The programme was implemented over four years (2014-2018) by CARE Rwanda International, Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, and Rwanda Women’s Network, in Eastern, Western and Northern provinces of rural Rwanda. One of the components of the programme included the training and engagement of opinion leaders to help create an enabling environment for social change.

This practice brief highlights lessons learned from – and assesses the value of – engaging opinion leaders as part of a comprehensive intimate partner violence prevention programme. In order for effective engagement to take place, there is a need to carefully map which key opinion leaders can and should be targeted, and maintain regular dialogue and communication. It is also important to engage them not just as opinion leaders, but also as people in relationships themselves.

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The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda was funded by the UK department for International Development, with the aim of preventing and reducing intimate partner violence. It was implemented over four years (2014-2018) by CARE Rwanda International, Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, and Rwanda Women’s Network, in rural Rwanda. One of the components of the programme included training couples as community activists (CAs), with the view to diffusing the benefits of the programme to a larger audience.

This practice belief highlights the impact of training of 840 couples as CAs, which include them feeling better equipped to respond to IPV, greater community awareness of IPV and greater community support for women’s empowerment and more gender equitable division of household labour. Recommendations consist of training more couples as CAs, adapting the community activism component to the specific country and context in which it is being applied, and ensuring proper linkage between the community activism component and other parts of the Indashyikirwa programme, e.g. engagement with opinion leaders.

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The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda was funded by the UK department for International Development and implemented over four years (2014-2018) by CARE Rwanda International, Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, and Rwanda Women’s Network, in Eastern, Western and Northern provinces of rural Rwanda. The programme aimed to reduce IPV, shift social norms and attitudes condoning violence, and provide more empowering responses to survivors. One of the components of the programme involved the establishment of women’s safe spaces, where women and men could disclose and discuss IPV, and be referred or accompanied to health, justice and social services.

This evidence brief reveals that the creation of safe spaces helped facilitate the disclosure of IPV, enhanced knowledge and awareness of more gender equitable norms, offered opportunities for collective solidarity and livelihoods skills training, and improved the quality of and linkages to formal services.

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This report presents the evaluation results of a project to curb levels of VAWG in rural Tajikistan, where around 60 per cent of women experience sexual, physical and emotional violence. Baseline research found that drivers include gender norms, social pressure, poverty, food insecurity, mental health issues, and alcohol and substance abuse. The project worked with 80 families across four villages, running weekly sessions to improve behaviours, relationships and communication, and also strengthening , livelihoods and financial management skills. Grants were given, in the form of livestock and equipment, to aid income generating activities, and the report outlines the success in reducing violence and making relationships stronger and more equitable.

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Many Afghan children experience violence both at home, at the hands of parents, and at school, both from their peers and from teachers inflicting corporal punishment. This report examines the effectiveness of HTAC’s school-based Peace Education scheme, as implemented across 20 schools in the Jawzjan province. HTAC also implemented community-based activities aimed at preventing violence, through the training of community leaders and parents in conflict resolution and women’s rights, reinforced with positive radio messaging. The report presents the final of Help the Afghan Children’s (HTAC’s) school-based peace education and community-based social norms change intervention and is intended to raise awareness among governmental and non-governmental organisations, donors and policy makers about what works to prevent violence against children.

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Indashyikirwa is a multi-collaborator programme to prevent intimate partner violence prevention (IPV), across rural Rwanda. It is being implemented by CARE Rwanda, Rwanda Women’s Network (RWN) and Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre (RWAMREC). A critical component of the programme is the creation of women’s safe spaces dedicated to offering informal support to survivors of IPV, including a pathway for referral to formal services (i.e., health, criminal justice and social services). Drawing on their experience implementing the Polyclinics of Hope since 1997, the RWN established14 safe spaces, designed to address the health, psychosocial, and socio-economic needs of gender based violence (GBV) survivors. At each women’s safe space, 22 facilitators were recruited from the communities engaged in the programme and trained to offer dedicated support to women and men that report IPV, educate women about their rights, and refer or accompany individuals who wish to report abuse or seek health or social services.

Read about an ordinary day for an extraordinary woman living in one of the world’s largest refugee camps.

February 26, 2018

My name is Miriam. I was born in Somalia. My family fled the war in 1992 when I was one year old, and I have lived in Dadaab refugee camp—one of the largest in the world—since then.

Now, I work for the International Rescue Committee. Every day, I work to protect women and girls from violence.

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