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Domestic Violence Study

Evaluating 'Pahal': a new clinical intervention for domestic violence survivors in Goa, part of a multi-country study.


2019 - 2022


Goa, India


Dr. Delan Devakumar, Prof. Abhijit Nadkarni, Prof. David Osrin, Dr. Nayreen Daruwalla, Prof. Glyn Lewis, Dr. Jenevieve Mannell, Prof. Cathy Zimmerman, Dr. Ligia Kiss, Dr. Laura Asher, Prof. Louise Howard, Dr. Sian Oram, Dr. Melanie Abas, Prof. Varuni de Silva, and Dr. Lida Ahmad



The Domestic Violence project was a mixed methods study that developed and evaluated a counselling intervention to improve the mental health effects associated with experiencing domestic violence among women in India.


Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a term used to describe behaviour within an intimate relationship that causes physical, sexual, or psychological harm, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse, and controlling behaviours. Domestic violence is a form of IPV that affects 1 in 3 women in India and has been found to have associations with short- and long-term mental health disorders, particularly depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal ideation


Progress till date

The study has concluded. The research conducted included:

Phase 1: Formative Research

  • In-depth interviews with survivors (n=35) and service providers (n=15) to understand survivor needs and expectations

  • Distillation of components from interventions studies and global training manuals

  • Consultative workshops with mental health and violence experts and lived-experience groups to capture needs, expectations and perspectives on responding to survivors of domestic violence.

Phase 2: Intervention Development

  • Triangulation of formative data to identify potential intervention components

  • Online Delphi study with international experts to ascertain acceptability, feasibility and potential effectiveness of chosen components

  • Online consultations with national experts and service providers to develop operational definitions of chosen components.

Phase 3: Intervention Evaluation

  • Uncontrolled before-after cohort study to evaluate acceptability and feasibility using mixed methods

  • In-depth Interviews with clients in Goa (n=26) and Mehsana (n=11) at 8 weeks after their 1st session

  • Focus Group Discussions with non-specialists in Goa (n=3) and Mehsana (n=10) post training, at 3 weeks after their 1st session, and End of Treatment.




‘Pahal’ is a manualized counselling intervention for women survivors of domestic violence, tested for acceptability and feasibility.


  • SNEHA, Mumbai, India

  • Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy,

  • Indian Law Society, Pune, India

  • University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

  • College of Psychiatrists, Sri Lanka

  • College of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, The University of Afghanistan

  • Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA)

  • University College of London, UK

  • King's College London, UK

  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

  • St. George's University London, UK


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