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The implications of community responses to intimate partner violence in Rwanda

Mannell, Jenevieve, Seyed-Raeisy, Iran, Burgess, Rochelle and Campbell, Catherine (2018) The implications of community responses to intimate partner violence in Rwanda. PLOS ONE, 13 (5). ISSN 1932-6203

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Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196584


Intimate partner violence (IPV) has significant impacts on mental health. Community-focused interventions have shown promising results for addressing IPV in low-income countries, however, little is known about the implications of these interventions for women’s mental wellbeing. This paper analyses data from a community-focused policy intervention in Rwanda collected in 2013–14, including focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with community members (n = 59). Our findings point to three ways in which these community members responded to IPV: (1) reconciling couples experiencing violence, (2) engaging community support through raising cases of IPV during community discussions, (3) navigating resources for women experiencing IPV, including police, social services and legal support. These community responses support women experiencing violence by helping them access available resources and by engaging in community discussions. However, assistance is largely only offered to married women and responses tend to focus exclusively on physical rather than psychological or emotional forms of violence. Drawing on Campbell and Burgess’s (2012) framework for ‘community mental health competence’, we interrogate the potential implications of these responses for the mental wellbeing of women affected by violence. We conclude by drawing attention to the gendered nature of community responses to IPV and the potential impacts this may have for the mental health of women experiencing IPV.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Mannell et al.
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 14 May 2018 09:09
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:39
Funders: LSE Research Infrastructure and Investment Fund, LSE Seed Fund

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