Teaching self-defence to girls in Nairobi has cut rates of sexual assault among participants in half. IMpower, a dual-gender program, teaches girls to defend themselves and boys to intervene in assaults by adapting feminist models of empowerment self-defence to a Kenyan context. The course has slashed rates of sexual assault and related ills: the rate of pregnancy-related school dropout plummeted by 46% among participants.
Randomised control trials in Kenya demonstrated an average 51% decrease in the incidence of rape among trainees in the year after the program—no mean feat in a country where one in four women has experienced sexual or intimate partner violence in the last 12 months. Some 50% of girls stopped a rape in the year after training, while 73% of boys who intervened in an assault successfully prevented its completion. Overall, interventions when witnessing assault jumped from 26% to 74%. To date, the program has reached some 180,000 …
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