Statement of purpose Pro Mujer is a leading women’s development organisation that offers low-income women in Latin America a holistic package of services including: microfinance; business training; and high-quality, affordable primary healthcare. While evidence supports a link between microfinance participation and women’s health, little is known about how borrowing practices and social dynamics between members of borrowing groups interact to affect borrower’s health, including intimate partner violence (IPV) victimisation.
Methods This study is a partnership between University of Pittsburgh academic researchers and Pro Mujer staff. The randomly selected sample includes approximately 300 female borrowers from 36 groups divided between two distinct Pro Mujer branches in Peru. Data is being collected over eight weeks during the fall of 2014. This presentation will explore the borrowers’ IPV experiences and how these experiences relate to their social network connexions within their borrowing groups and with Pro Mujer staff.
Results Preliminary results from 51 completed surveys underscore the magnitude of the problem. Questions drawn from the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence found the following rates of past and current IPV, respectively: 65% and 33% emotional abuse, 45% and 16% physical abuse, and 16% and 2% sexual abuse. Social network characteristics, including density, closeness and connectivity, will be calculated and the associated results presented.
Conclusions IPV is a complex problem that demands a sophisticated intervention approach. Knowledge, access to healthcare and improved financial independence alone are not sufficient for improved IPV outcomes. Interpersonal interactions play a critical role in helping women to address abuse. Significance: Results from this study are critical for the development of IPV interventions for Pro Mujer microfinance clients. Working together in partnership, the authors are well positioned to translate the research findings into practice. A discussion of this process and associated outcomes will be included.
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