Evaluation of the Stepping Stones and Creating Futures IPV Prevention Interventions in South Africa
This summary provides findings of an evaluation of the combined Stepping Stones and Creating Futures intervention, which was a 21 session, peer-facilitated violence prevention intervention, targeting both men and women in South Africa. This intervention identified poverty and gender inequalities as key drivers of intimate partner violence (IPV) against women. Therefore, it carried out simultaneous efforts to strengthen livelihoods and transform gender inequalities to reduce women’s experiences of IPV and men’s perpetration of IPV.
Between October 2015 and October 2018, a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. It involved 1,355 young (aged 18-30) women and men residing in 34 informal settlements in the eThekwini municipality in South Africa. These participants were randomly allocated to settlements to either receive the intervention immediately, or after 24 months. They were asked to complete questionnaires at baseline and at 24 months (endline).
Key Findings of the Study
(1) Reduced men’s perpetration of violence against women:
The evaluation showed a 39% reduction in physical IPV, a 54% reduction in economic IPV, a 32% reduction in sexual IPV, and a 28% reduction in non-partner rape perpetration, in the past year in the intervention group.
(2) Increased women’s and men’s monthly earnings, savings, and their engagement in the labour market:
For women who received the intervention, past month earnings increased more than three times, from R180 (US$13) to R565 ($40); women’s past four week savings increased from R21 ($1.50) at baseline to R83 ($6) at endline; and 15% women at baseline reported working every month or most months in the past year, and by endline this had increased to 32%.
(3) Improved women’s and men’s ability to communicate with their partners in ways that build stronger, and long lasting relationships:
Those who received the intervention reported greater ability to handle stressful situations, better express their emotions in ways not leading to conflict within relationships, and overall build stronger and positive relationships. Women were able to articulate their needs to partners more clearly.