‘El que ve y Ayuda’ : Evaluation of a Gender-based Violence Prevention Pilot Program in Peru

Community-based prevention strategies (e.g. bystander programs) have the potential to reduce sexual violence against women, but have mainly been implemented in high-income countries and geared towards specific contexts, such as university campuses. Based on local priorities for sexual violence prevention, a community-informed bystander intervention training program, “El que ve y ayuda” (“Who Sees and Helps;” WSH), was developed in Ayacucho, Peru: a post-conflict community.


This study reports on the pilot evaluation of the WSH program, conducted with a sample of 155 participants, using a pre- and post-intervention survey. After the program, participants reported a significant increase in their willingness to intervene in potential situations of sexual violence (t [133] = −7.10, p < .000) and a significant reduction in their acceptance of rape myths or victim-blaming beliefs (t [116] = 4.72, p < .001). This community-engaged approach, reflective of the local priorities on sexual violence prevention, fostered research and capacity-building benefits despite some limitations. This study contributes to the ongoing efforts in crafting culturally accessible tools that enhance community involvement in prevention measures which may potentially lead to long-term reductions in the occurrence of sexual violence.

Key Implications for Practice

  • Community engagement in the development of sexual violence prevention programs is possible and can support attitudinal changes.
  • Following community priorities and customs is necessary for culturally safe and responsive bystander approaches in the prevention of sexual violence.
  • Enlisting community members representing key populations interested in prevention is crucial for evaluating the future outcomes and challenges of pilot programs.
Suarez, Eliana Barrios; McGrath, Eleanor M.; Caceres, Andrea D. Morales; Ordoñez, Jhoys; Reynaga, Gumercinda | 2024
In: Intervention, the Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas ; ISSN: 1571-8883 | 22 | 1 | april | 31-43
Adults, Bystanders, Communities, Gender Issues, Peruvians, Prevention, Sexual Harassment, Violence