Addressing Reproductive Coercion in Bangladesh: Lessons learned from adapting the ARCHES intervention

Publication Date


Document Type



Social Work

Publication Title

South Asia Initiative (SAI) Winter Mixer

Conference Location

San Diego, CA


Reproductive coercion refers to a set of specific behaviors, most often perpetrated by male partners, to control women’s fertility and interfere with contraceptive use. Reproductive coercion is associated with intimate partner violence and contributes to negative reproductive health outcomes such as unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion. However, few evidence-based interventions exist that address reproductive coercion and intimate partner violence in low and middle-income country contexts. Addressing Reproductive Coercion in Health Settings (ARCHES) is a brief clinical intervention designed to provide education, targeted-support, and empowerment to women facing reproductive coercion or intimate partner violence. In two U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded randomized controlled trials, a single exposure to ARCHES significantly reduced pregnancy coercion and increased women’s self-efficacy to use contraceptives despite partner opposition. The UCSD Center on Gender Equity and Health, in collaboration with Ipas International and local health organizations, has adapted the ARCHES intervention for use by family planning providers in Bangladesh. The multi-step adaptation process funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation included conducting interviews and focus group discussions with family planning clients and providers at community-based clinics in Bangladesh, and creating a provider toolkit for implementing ARCHES in low- and middle-income settings. This session will share insights from the formative research used to adapt ARCHES to the Bangladesh country context. This adaptations will inform ongoing efforts to adapt ARCHES for use in other high-need environments, building local capacity to address reproductive coercion and intimate partner violence in global health settings.