BRAC’s Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) Initiative: Synthesis of Action Research Findings

In 2014, BRAC designed a comprehensive, evidence-based intervention model to address the problems of violence against women and children through the Violence Against Women and Children initiative (VAWC). The VAWC model is being tested and refined in two districts: Comilla and Gazipur. This report synthesized the results of four action research studies that BRAC commissioned to generate insights to inform this process. BRAC selected four components of the intervention for these studies: 1) Gender attitudes of BRAC field staff, 2) Psychological first aid for women who experience violence, 3) Engaging men as partners to stop violence against women, and 4) Youth action/peer education. The research methods included in-depth interviews with individuals, focus group discussions and direct observation of VAWC activities. Verbal informed consent was obtained from all participants. Studies one and two on gender attitudes among BRAC staff and psychological first aid identified persistent notions about women, marriage and family that must be addressed head-on to accelerate positive social change and women’s perceived right and ability to live lives free from violence. Studies three and four on BRAC’s male engagement and youth action strategies documented effective models for working with men, youth and mixed-gender community groups to accelerate positive change in gender norms and move from ideational change to action. These studies also illustrated how strategies to encourage interpersonal communication, alliance building and collective action can protect women and children against violence and contribute to the institutionalization of gender equality.

Author: Schuler, Sidney Ruth
Type: Monograph
Year: 2017