The SASA! initiative in Uganda is one example of a social norms community mobilization program, widely considered good practice for social norms interventions.
SASA! seeks to change community attitudes, norms, and behaviors around gender, violence, and the risk of and vulnerability to HIV infection among women. Premised on the ecological model of violence, the program incorporates activism and then action at the community level.
A cluster-randomized evaluation sought to identify changes in attitudes toward and acceptance of gender inequality and intimate partner violence, changes in the prevalence of intimate partner violence, improvements in responses to women experiencing violence, and decreases in high-risk sexual behaviors.
The evaluation found that there was a clear shift in behaviors, with the experience and perpetration of physical intimate partner violence significantly decreasing in intervention communities.
While SASA! targeted primarily adults’ experiences of physical and sexual intimate partner violence, the approach provides direction for broad community mobilization strategies that focus on children and adolescents, specifically.
Research by Guedes, Bott, Garcia-Moreno, and Colombini found that there are several shared risk factors between violence against women and children, many of which are supported by broader social norms.
Child maltreatment and abuse often occur within the same household in which intimate partner violence is occurring, and there is significant evidence that both can have intergenerational consequences.
Additionally, violence against women and violence against children intersect during adolescence, when individuals are considered highly vulnerable to different kinds of violence. This all points to the need for more integrated and early interventions, particularly among adolescents.
Studies of the SASA! program reinforce that there are significant intersections between violence against women and children.
A more recent study in Kampala, Uganda, found that the patriarchal family structures can create an environment that normalizes, and therefore facilitates, all forms of violence against women and children simultaneously.
Drawing on participant experiences, the authors suggest that intimate partner violence and violence against children intersect within the family, which has a range of consequences, including the sustaining of cycles of emotional and physical abuse, bystander trauma, negative role modeling, ongoing victimization, and aggression.
Together for Girls, in partnership with The Equality Institute and the Oak Foundation, undertook a systematic review of proven solutions and best practices to prevent and respond to sexual violence against children and young people.
On May 11-13, 2022, senior government officials and civil society leaders from over 30 African countries gathered at the Pan-African symposium on violence prevention in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The World AIDS Day 2021 theme is “End Inequality. End AIDS. End Pandemics.” By ending gender inequality and the silent pandemic of sexual violence against children and adolescents, we can create a safer, AIDS-free future.
A prudent intervention on the adoption of safeguarding policies and procedures for child and youth-serving organizations
A prudent intervention providing education and awareness-raising for adults who interact with children
A program that recognizes and encourages coaches' unique position to impact positive attitudes and behaviors, and challenge toxic masculinity