World Bank Award supports Monash research to prevent gender-based violence

Professor Maurice Eisenbruch from the Department of Psychiatry was recognised last month for his work in preventing gender-based violence in Cambodia with a prestigious World Bank Award.

The US$99,500 award—Development Marketplace 2018: Innovations in Addressing Gender Based Violence, awarded by the World Bank Group and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative—will support Professor Eisenbruch’s ongoing research that explores cultural forces underpinning gender-based violence (GBV) and interventions that could contribute to prevention.

“The award will enable the research team to test how women, men, girls and boys use their local cultural references to understand GBV that they may have experienced or witnessed,” Professor Eisenbruch said.

“Through collaboration with a Buddhist network, we will examine initiatives developed by monks to help prevent GBV and mitigate its effects.”

“We will also document why perpetrators and survivors sought help from monks and female devotees, and how it changed attitudes towards women and girls.”

Professor Eisenbruch said that throughout his career as a psychiatrist and medical anthropologist he has been committed to relief of suffering of his patients and, beyond that, strives for relief of communities facing human suffering globally.

“Gender based violence is one of the worst scourges on the planet,” he said.

“This award will help in the quest to transfer research into policy that makes a difference.”

Professor Eisenbruch acknowledges his collaborators Theary Chan from the Reproductive and Child Health Alliance (RACHA) in Cambodia and Willem van de Put from the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp.