MAV – Men against violence

A pilot implementation study of a male-led community program to address gender-based violence in rural Rajasthan, India

Funding agency: Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery–Dubai

Duration: 12 Months (February 2019—January 2020)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Vikram Patel

Co-Investigator(s): Mr. Aneel Singh Brar, Ms. Urvita Bhatia, Dr. Abhijit Nadkarni


Gender-based violence (GBV) is a major violation of women’s human rights and a significant global public health problem. As a result of GBV, women experience a range of immediate and long-term physical and mental health consequences, often exacerbated during the perinatal period. This proposed project takes advantage of an existing perinatal mental health care delivery platform to adapt, implement, and test a male-led intervention for gender-based violence in rural Rajasthan, India. Our hypothesis is that a GBV primary prevention program led by self-identified reformed perpetrators that targets young husbands of expectant mothers will be both acceptable and feasible within the local context, and that the program will reduce the actual experience of GBV among women and change community perceptions regarding GBV. We intend to use the results of this pilot implementation study to inform a future trial in the study area.


1) Develop a culturally relevant, male-led intervention for gender-based violence in rural Rajasthan

2) Examine its acceptability and feasibility within the local context, and

3) Change local attitudes about gender-based violence and reduce the experience of gender-based violence among local women.


1) Use a systematic methodology to adapt an intervention package for delivery using an existing maternal mental health intervention platform

2) Conduct a preliminary evaluation of the acceptability, feasibility, safety and impact of the intervention. 

Study setting: 

The GBV prevention program will be implemented within the catchment area of the Mata Jai Kaur Maternal and Child Health Centre (MJK), a maternal health non-profit located in a rural northern Rajasthan (district Sri Ganganagar) that provides antenatal care and safe delivery services to women.


This study is divided into two phases; formative, and implementation. The formative phase will begin with participatory consultations with local stakeholders. Data collection will include semi-structured qualitative interviews and focus group discussions with key community stakeholders in the local district. Data collected from the first phase will be used to develop the intervention package. The second phase of implementation will examine the feasibility, fidelity, acceptability, and appropriateness of the package through an implementation study design. It will include baseline and endpoint surveys with recruited males and their partners, as well as semi-structured interviews discovering attitudes towards gender-based violence, and the perceived acceptability, feasibility, and appropriateness of the intervention package.

Research impact:

We expect that through our study, womens’ experiences with gender-based violence will reduce, and that  community perceptions regarding gender-based violence in the study area will improve. Evidence gained from this study has the potential to go on to inform further studies of primary prevention interventions for gender-based violence, including a future trial of this program in the study area. In addition, if successfully implemented, this study will have the potential to be replicated and scaled-up across various lower-middle income settings, in order to further tackle the issue of gender-based violence and its related mental health burdens.

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