A new article published in Prevention Science Journal, “Evaluation of the REAL Fathers Initiative on Physical Child Punishment and Intimate Partner Violence in Northern Uganda,” shows the promising results of a parenting intervention as a means to address violence.
Authored by Kim Ashburn, Rebecka Lundgren (Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health), Dickens Ojamuge, and Brad Kerner (Save the Children) the article covers the REAL Fathers pilot and its results, an initiative funded by USAID. REAL — which stands for Responsible, Engaged and Loving — aims to transform attitudes related to gender roles and violence through a series of meetings with male mentors and a community poster campaign. The intervention promotes partnership skill building, positive parenting, couple communication, and conflict resolution to change norms among the fathers. Compared to those not exposed to the intervention, participating fathers demonstrated a significant reduction in intimate partner violence and physical child punishment.
The article adds to a growing body of evidence on the power of simple parenting interventions to address complex problems. Given the link between witnessing violence as a child and increased risk of experiencing or perpetrating violence as an adult, reductions in violence can have significant long-term, multigenerational impacts on families. “We know that social and gender norms influence the occurrence of intimate partner violence — which takes such a serious toll on the health and wellbeing of families across Uganda,” says author Kim Ashburn. “But we also know that working with men can have positive effects on improving attitudes related to gender inequality and in reducing this violence.”
Read the full article or download the PDF here.
- Read the REAL Fathers Initiative fact sheets
- Read the REAL Father’s Mentor Curricula
- Read the USAID Global Health story “Learning to be REAL Fathers and Husbands”