Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review of Interventions at Structural, Community, Interpersonal, Individual, and Multiple Levels

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Trauma, violence & abuse


Gender-based violence (GBV) disproportionately impacts women and girls in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). This review described the characteristics of structural, community, interpersonal, individual, and multilevel GBV interventions in LMIC and examined components of interventions implemented at different socio-ecological levels. We conducted a systematic search of peer-reviewed literature on GBV intervention evaluation studies in LMIC using the following databases: PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Cochrane, Academic Search Ultimate, PsycInfo, and Web of Science. The search resulted in 3,256 articles, with 60 articles meeting the eligibility criteria. Thirty-eight articles reported positive GBV outcomes with significant differences between intervention and control arms on at least one GBV outcome. Very few interventions were found to be stand-alone GBV interventions. The key components of interventions effective in addressing victimization and perpetration across levels were education or psychoeducation, psychotherapy, skills development, gender transformative activities, community engagement, focus on men and/or partners, and health promotion activities such as HIV or STI prevention. Most interventions were multilevel, with positive outcomes for victimization. Fewer evidence-based interventions existed for addressing perpetration. There is need for additional research using rigorous methods to establish an evidence base for effective interventions in under-researched regions in LMIC as well as for interventions that address perpetration of GBV.



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