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Awarded Cooperative Agreement to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury

Intimate partner violence prevention through the use of theater in the Asian community of Southeast Michigan

FOA Number: CE05-017 - Intervention and Evaluation Trials to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence
Project Period: 09/01/05-08/31/09
Application/Grant Number: 1-U49-CE000507-01
Principal Investigator: Meiko Yoshihama
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 S University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


The goal of the proposed project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a socio-culturally relevant primary prevention program to reduce first-time physical intimate partner violence (IPV) in an Indian community in Metro Detroit, Michigan. Researchers will create a Community Action Team (CAT) of Gujarati residents and strengthen their capacity to prevent IPV; work with the CAT to develop and implement an IPV prevention communication campaign based on behavior change theory and social marketing approaches; and will evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign and CAT program using a quasi-experimental and longitudinal design. The campaign will use print/electronic media and local activities (e.g., theater and community forums) and will draw from exchange and feminist theories to promote nonviolent alternatives and more egalitarian relationships to challenge norms that condone IPV, such as family privacy.

The campaign’s impact on the community at large will be evaluated using surveys at pre-and post-intervention with random samples of Gujarati residents, augmented by key informant interviews, review of project activity records, and by participant observations. Written surveys will assess changes in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors (KABB) about IPV, including reduction in first-time IPV perpetration/victimization, decreased tolerance for IPV, increase in knowledge about and practice of alternatives to abusive tactics and/or violence, and enhanced couple communication. In addition, a longitudinal cohort design will be used to assess changes in CAT members’ KABB in similar domains over time. Few IPV prevention projects or evaluations exist in Asian or other immigrant communities. This project will help fill this gap by providing valuable data on how to design a socio-culturally effective program that reduces both attitudes condoning IPV and perpetration of IPV among a growing, but seriously underserved, immigrant community. Since IPV is prevalent and associated with serious and long-lasting health consequences, such information will help reduce the (public) health burden of IPV in diverse communities.