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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Intimate Partner Abuse (IPA) Prevention Program Training Offered to 50 North American Leaders Online
By Krishna Prana Devi Dasi, Director of IPA Prevention for Vaishnavi Ministry North America   |  May 05, 2023

On Saturday, April 22nd, almost 50 North American leaders and managers gathered online for the first-ever virtual Intimate Partner Abuse (IPA) Prevention Program, which introduced new tools and resources to assist ISKCON leaders in dealing with domestic abuse in their communities. 

The initiative began in 2020 under the umbrella of the Vaishnavi Ministry of North America in response to the absence of domestic abuse resources available at North American ISKCON temples, even though there have been many reports of Vaishnavis stepping forward over the years to request support in this area. “Unfortunately, this lack of resources combined with the dismissal of this issue by many of our leaders has had tremendous costs on the spiritual, mental, and physical well-being of too many of our devotees,” said Krishna Prana Devi Dasi, a trauma therapist with specialization in IPA and who serves as the Director of IPA Prevention for the Vaishnavi Ministry North America. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. Most domestic abuse (about 85%) is perpetrated by men against women in the role of a husband or intimate partner.

ISKCON’s GBC Statement Against Domestic Abuse from 2020 says, “Domestic abuse is indefensible, often illegal, and never acceptable within the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Any interpretation of Vaishnava religious or social teachings that condones, endorses, or justifies domestic abuse is rejected by the North American Governing Body Commission (GBC).”

The tools and resources shared in this initial training will also be piloted this year in the ISKCON Phoenix and ISKCON DC communities. They include a policy document to help leaders implement ISKCON’s Statement Against Domestic Abuse, a decision tree, and a calendar of events to keep IPA Prevention a relevant topic throughout the year. In addition to ongoing training, the initiative desires to recruit more IPA Community Representatives for ISKCON temples across North America. Currently, 57 IPA representatives support ISKCON centers in the US and Canada. 

“I found this IPA Training for Temple Leaders to be an important step in the continued maturation of our spiritual organization, ISKCON, especially here in North America,” said Anuttama Dāsa, a Zonal Duty Officer, “It promotes healthy and holistic relationships and keeps leaders on guard to eradicate non-Vaishnava behavior like IPA. In addition, the training format was informative, engaging, and thought-provoking.” 

For the next phase, a newly developed IPA Prevention Task Force is meeting monthly to expand the IPA Prevention resources. The task force members include Bhaktin Anne Chartier, who has worked for Canadian Forces and Moral and Welfare Services (CFMWS) for the past 15 years in different divisions and capacities, most notably as the Family Violence Prevention Coordinator; Syamala Priya Devi Dasi, a social worker and psychotherapist who serves as the IPA representative for ISKCON of DC; Syama Mohini Devi Dasi, who serves on the child protection team and as the IPA representative for ISKCON Phoenix; Vrnda Devi Dasi, a member of the North American RGB as a Zonal Supervisor; and Krishna Prana Devi Dasi, a trauma therapist with specialization in IPA and the Director of IPA Prevention for the Vaishnavi Ministry North America.

IPA Task Force Members: Syama Mohini Devi Dasi, Syamala Priya Devi Dasi, Vrnda Devi Dasi, Bhaktin Anne Chartier, Krishna Prana Devi Dasi.

“It was so encouraging to see ISKCON leaders taking this issue seriously through their participation in the training,” said -Krishna Prana, “It may seem like an overdramatic statement, but I’m confident that this initiative will help to save lives, both in the literal sense by protecting their physical safety but also in the sense of keeping the spiritual lives of devotees strong, as it really can produce a crisis of faith when it feels like a victim of abuse is not believed/supported or if a perpetrator of abuse is protected and prioritized over the victim’s safety.” 

If you are interested in learning more about this vital service, becoming an IPA representative, or supporting them with your time and talents, please get in touch with Krishna Prana Devi Dasi at


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