What is Samvedana Plus? An intervention and evaluation study, Samvedana Plus aims to understand and address violence and HIV risk in the intimate partnerships of female sex workers. This brochure provides background information about the Samvedana Plus study.
The high prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) amongst women, and particularly those in sex work or female sex workers (FSWs), has been increasingly recognized. Studies involving female sex workers have focussed on violence from clients, often quantitatively identifying risk factors. Few studies have examined IPV facing FSWs and none have included both male and female partners or taken a community-based research (CBR) approach. Qualitative community-based research is valuable for better understanding the mechanisms by which multi-levelled factors may be increasing vulnerability to IPV, from the perspective of women in sex work and their male intimate partners.
The Samvedana Poster illustrates the findings from the participatory research in North Karnataka, India. The objective of the study is to understand the drivers of violence and condom use in the relationship between sex workers and their intimate partners. This study was conducted in two separate, three-day residential workshops with 31 female sex workers (FSWs) and 37 intimate partners (IPs).
The role of the male partners in determining the sex workers’ sexual behaviour is very significant. The male partners’ ideas of masculinity, sanctions given by society and the lack of accountability and responsibility in a sexual relationship increases the risk and vulnerability of their female partners,female sex workers as well as the general population of women, particularly regular female partners. Karnataka Health Promotion Trust has conducted a series of participatory workshops with sex workers and their intimate partners to explore how they understand and interpret their relationships, the reasons for not using condoms in these relationships and the role of violence and its consequences.
A lack of understanding of the nature and dynamics of sex workers’ relationship with their intimate partnerships made it difficult to design appropriate strategies to address the issues of non-usage of condoms and violence which increase FSWs’ risk and vulnerability. Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) tried to address this gap by conducting a series of participatory workshops with sex workers and their intimate partners to explore how they understand and interpret their relationships, reasons for not using condoms in intimate relationships, the role of violence and its consequences.
Violence against women and girls can be prevented. New studies have shown that carefully designed interventions, which focus on transforming gender norms and work at multiple levels, can significantly reduce women’s experience of violence within one to two years. These interventions show great promise for our goal of creating a world free from violence as envisaged in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Participatory approaches to behaviour change dominate HIV- and intimate partner violence prevention interventions. Research has identified multiple challenges in the delivery of these. In this article, we focus on how facilitators conceptualize successful facilitation and how these understandings may undermine dialogue
and critical consciousness, through a case study of facilitators engaged in the delivery of Stepping Stones and Creating Futures and ten focus-group discussions held with facilitators.
At the time Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013, the primary guidance for preventing and responding to gender-based violence (GBV) in emergencies was the 2005 Inter-Agency Standing Committee's Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings. This study used the 2005 IASC GBV Guidelines as a tool to understand how the humanitarian sector met the needs of women and girls in the Phlippines; specifically looking at how prevention and mitigation of violence against women and girls (VAWG) were carried our in the early phase of the emergency response and investigating the effectiveness of deploying GBV experts to assist VAWG mainstreaming in the humanitarian response.
This study uses the 2005 Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings as a tool to assess how the humanitarian sector met the needs of women and girls in the response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. It specifically looks at how prevention and mitigation of violence against women and girls (VAWG) were carried out in the early phase of the emergency response and investigates the effectiveness of deploying gender-based violence experts to assist with mainstreaming VAWG prevention and response activities across the humanitarian response. It also links to the revised Guidelines for Integrating Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action, published in September 2015, with recommendations for implementation, funding, research, and more.
Definitions are not merely a means of establishing clarity; rather, they shape the field in which a concept is understood, measured and evaluated. Definitions of violence against women establish what acts are perceived as violence by a society and which are not, which acts come into the remit of the law and which go unrecognized, and who is perceived as a legitimate victim or perpetrator. It is therefore essential that researchers and activists working in the area of violence against women and girls (VAWG) adopt clear definitions that adequately recognize the variety, scope and impact of violence on women and girls, their families, communities and societies.
This paper examines contributions to understandings of violence from a number of disciplines which have shaped and informed the most common conceptualisations of VAWG today. Though a review of existing literature demonstrates a growing understanding of the complexity and interconnection between types of violence, contexts and consequences, nevertheless this paper suggests gaps remain in terms of our conceptualisation and understanding of the impact of VAWG, including the cumulative social and economic costs of multiple experiences of violence across the individual life-time.
This is the fourth in a series of four evidence review papers produced by What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls, a £25 million global programme funded by the UK Department for International Development which seeks to understand and address the underlying causes of violence across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This paper reviews the evidence found on the cost and value for money of interventions to prevent VAWG, as well as on approaches for scaling up such interventions.
This is the third in a series of four evidence review papers produced by What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls, a £25 million global programme funded by the UK Department for International Development which seeks to understand address the underlying causes of violence across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. VAWG responses mechanisms have, for the most part, been developed and deployed with the primary goal of providing improved support services to women and girl survivors, through strengthening the response of the police and criminal justice system, and the health and social sector. An assumption is often made that strengthened response mechanisms will also lead to a decrease in rates of violence. For example, a victim of intimate partner violence may be less likely to return to an abusive relationship following their interaction with and support from the health and social sectors. This paper examines the evidence base on the effectiveness of response mechanisms in preventing the re occurrence of VAWG, a key question in the field of violence prevention and concludes that widely held assumptions have not yet been proven, and indeed further research is needed.
This is the second in a series of four evidence review papers produced by What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls, a £25 million global programme funded by the UK Department for International Development which seeks to understand address the underlying causes of violence across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This evidence review identifies some of the most effective interventions which promise to reduce VAWG through targeting the key risk factors for violence perpetration and experiences.
This is the first in a series of four evidence review papers produced by What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls, a £25 million global programme funded by the UK Department for International Development which seeks to understand address the underlying causes of violence across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This paper outlines the current knowledge base regarding the issue of VAWG and identifies where the evidence base needs to be expanded in order to inform more sophisticated interventions and make a real impact on the prevalence of VAWG globally, in the hope that this information will be used to drive current policies and programme as well as future endeavours.
This report presents the findings of a global survey of 309 violence against women and girls (VAWG) stakeholders, including practitioners, policymakers, researchers and activists. The anonymous online survey was completed between August-September 2014, with the link sent out through various VAWG networks, listservs and Twitter contacts. The survey aims to help the What Works to Prevent Violence programme learn how best to communicate findings to key stakeholders, by generating information on knowledge and understanding of primary prevention and perceived barriers to evidence-based prevention. These findings will be used to directly inform and advance the What Works to Prevent Violence communications and research uptake strategies.