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This report presents the findings of formative research the Population Council conducted, with support from UK aid, in the district of Patna, India that aimed to better understand the context of violence—physical, emotional, and sexual—against women and girls, and notably, the prevailing norms about men’s entitlement and women’s acquiescence to violence. Findings suggest that violence against women and girls is widespread and widely justified, that women are perceived as having few options but to tolerate violence, and that the most common response to violence is silence. At the same time, many women and some positive deviant men recognize the injustice and unacceptability of violence against women even in this traditional patriarchal setting, and their perceptions reiterate that programs intended to change norms and practices relating to violence against women and girls may indeed be effective. The report recommends a number of multipronged programmatic actions among young and adult populations, both women and men, as well as in schools, at healthcare facilities, and among other service providers who work to eliminate violence against women and girls.





Reducing Violence Against Women and Girls in India