Reducing violence against women – SASA!
Recent results from the groundbreaking study on the SASA! (meaning ‘Now’ in Kiswahili) approach have been extremely positive, showing reductions in intimate partner violence (IPV), as well as marked shifts towards non-acceptance of IPV, and increasing respect for women’s sexual autonomy.
SASA! is a collaboration between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP), Raising Voices, and Makerere University, which aims to use community mobilisation to help reduce the spread and frequency of violence against women and children.
A cluster randomised control trial was conducted in Kampala, Uganda, to investigate the effects of the SASA! approach (please click here to view the article at Biomed Central), which demonstrated reductions in intimate partner violence, as well as changed perceptions of the acceptability of IPV, and greater community support for its sufferers. A few highlights from the study were:
- IPV against women in SASA! communities was 52% lower than control groups
- 76% of women and men in SASA! communities believe that IPV is unacceptable, compared to 26% in the controls
- In SASA! communities, 28% more women and men believe that it is acceptable for a woman to refuse sex, than in control communities
The study sought to highlight the links between IPV, women’s rights, and the ever-present risk of HIV transmission, particularly in regions where sexual autonomy of women is not always assured, and it is testament to the success of this research, and the SASA! program itself, that it will now go on to be delivered across 15 different countries!
Biomed Central also hosted a discussion between LSHTM’s Charlotte Watts and Raising Voices’ Lori Michau, which highlights the need for research and interventions on IPV, as well as outlining the future directions for the SASA! initiative. Please click here to view the full article. In addition, CEDOVIP’s Tina Musuya contributed a guest blog on Biomed Central, which can be viewed here!
Want more information?
For further information on the SASA! approach, why not visit Raising Voices’ Youtube channel to get the full lowdown, showing input from community activists, and primer materials such as this great introduction to SASA!
To go further in-depth, the SASA! website hosts a variety of useful content, such as prevention tools including the SASA! Toolkit for activists and trainers, as well as educational materials like In Her Shoes – an interactive group workshop exercise which builds greater understanding of the challenges faced by women and girls suffering violence. There are also a number of short films, addressing issues such as violence against children, and child labour. You can access these, and much more, by visiting the SASA! resource library.