'SASA! is the medicine that treats violence'

Nambusi Kyegombe, Elizabeth Starmann, Karen Devries, Lori Michau, Janet Nakuti, Tina Musuya, Charlotte Watts, Lori Heise Global Health Action, 2014; Vol. 7 Qualitative findings on how a community mobilisation intervention to prevent violence against women created change in Kampala

Qualitative findings on how the STRIVE community mobilisation intervention to prevent violence against women created change in Kampala, Uganda.

The SASA! approach has demonstrated the potential of social norm change interventions at the community level to achieve meaningful impact within project timeframes.

Between 2007 and 2012, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial to assess the community-level impact of SASA! At the same time, a nested qualitative study explored the pathways of individual and community-level change. It found that SASA! influenced both the dynamics of individual relationships and broader community norms.

At a relationship level, the multi-level SASA! programme:

  • helps partners to explore the benefits of mutually supportive gender roles
  • improves communication on a variety of issues
  • increases levels of joint decision-making
  • highlights non-violent ways to deal with anger or disagreement

At a community level, SASA! has fostered non-tolerance of violence by:

  • reducing the acceptability of violence against women
  • increasing individuals’ skills, willingness and sense of responsibility to act to prevent violence against women
  • developing and strengthening community-based structures to catalyse and support on-going activism to prevent intimate partner violence (IPV)

 For more about SASA!:

  • watch a short video 
  • read an interview with Charlotte Watts (LSHTM) and Lori Michau (Raising Voices) about preventing IPV
  • read a blog published by BMC Medicine by Tina Musuya, who heads CEDOVIP, the organisation implementing SASA! in Kampala
  • read a paper about trial findings published in BMC Medicine
  • read a blog published by The Guardian by Tanya Abrahams, lead author on the paper in BMC Medicine

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