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Working with Religious Leaders - Significantly Reduced the Probability that a Man Committed Violence against his Partner

Mon, 04/03/2023 - 05:13

Strategy researched

An intervention, Becoming One (B1), that works with religious leaders to introduce a range of relationship skills as part of their traditional role as couples counsellor in an effort to address intimate partner violence (IPV)

Impact achieved

There was a 5% reduction of reported IPV a year later after B1 compared to couples who did not participate in the programme. Taken at face value, this implies that among the 840 couples randomised to treatment, the programme prevented male violence against women in approximately 42 couples. Those participating also showed a 1% reduction in the number of women reporting hitting their partner and a 4% reduction of reports of disciplinary violence against children, suggesting positive spillover effects of reduced conflict for all household members. The study also had significant results related to additional measures in power dynamics, with increases in women's control and decision making (1.7% increase), joint financial planning (240% increase), and reduced income hiding (3.6%) of the participants compared to those in control groups.

Country of study


Research methodology



Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Journal; 2022

Journal paper title and link

Religious leaders can motivate men to cede power and reduce intimate partner violence: Experimental evidence from Uganda

Excerpt from Abstract

"[T]he program shifted power from men to women and reduced intimate partner violence by five percentage points, comparable with more intensive secular programs. These improvements were largest among couples counseled by religious leaders who held the most progressive views at baseline and who critically engaged with the material....[F]indings suggest that religious leaders can be effective agents of change for reducing violence."

Summary at this link


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  • Published since 2010.