Examples of Evaluated Social Marketing Campaigns addressing Woman Abuse: References and Brief Descriptions

Learning Network Brief 18

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Anna-Lee Straatman, Research Associate, Learning Network, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children, Faculty of Education, Western University.

Straatman, A. (February 2014).  Examples of Evaluated Social Marketing Campaigns addressing Woman Abuse: References and Brief Descriptions.  Learning Network Brief (18).  London, Ontario: Learning Network, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children.  http://www.vawlearningnetwork.ca/

Examples of Evaluated Social Marketing Campaigns addressing Woman Abuse: References and Brief Descriptions

A literature search using Google Scholar was conducted to identify social marketing campaigns focusing on woman abuse. Campaigns from Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand and United States were identified.  Search terms included social marketing campaign(s), family violence, domestic violence, violence against women, and woman abuse. Information about the campaigns identified through the literature review is summarized in the table. 

Although there are several campaigns referred to in various publications, only those that offered a description of the campaign or an evaluation of an aspect of the campaign were included in this resource.



Castelino, T; Colla, M; Boulet, J. (June 2013). Social Marketing for preventing violence against women: Making every action matter. Literature Review for the Challenge Family Violence Project. Victoria, AU: Department of Justice. Available at: https://silo.tips/download/social-marketing-for-preventing-violence-against-women-making-every-action-matte

Cismaru, M; Lavack, A. (2010). “Don’t suffer in silence” – Applying the integrated model for social marketers to campaigns targeting victims of domestic violence. Social Marketing Quarterly, 16:97 – 129.

Cismaru, M; Lavack, A. (2011). Campaigns targeting perpetrators of intimate partner violence. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 12 (4) 183-197.

Donovan, R.J; Vlais, R. (2005). VicHealth review of communication components of social marketing/public education campaigns focusing on violence against women. Melbourne: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation. Available at: http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/~/media/ProgramsandProjects/DiscriminationandViolence/ViolenceAgainstWomen/CAS_Paper2_SocialMarketing.ashx

Flood, M. (2010). Where men stand: Men’s roles in ending violence against women. White Ribbon Prevention Research Series No.2 2010 White Ribbon Foundation Report. 

Potter, S.J. (April 2008). Incorporating evaluation into media campaign design. National Online Resource Center on Violence against Women.  Available at: www.Vawnet.org

Wakefield, M.A.; Laken, B; Hornik, R. (2010). Use of mass media campaigns to change health behaviour. The Lancet, 376:1261-1271.

Campaign Specific

Amokura – New Zealand www.katoa.net.nz/past-projects/amokura

The Amokura – Step Back! Campaign utilized music to communicate a positive message targeted at the Maiori people of New Zealand. The program had extensive reach in the community with more than 20,000 people attending events in 2005. The campaign was delivered through radio, concerts, workshops, advertising, and training for service providers.  The project included formative research consisting of gaps and needs analysis. Outcome evaluation measured awareness of the campaign and personal testimonials regarding impact, and behavior change.

Grennell, D; Cram, F. (2008). Evaluation of Amokura: An indigenous family violence prevention strategy. MIA review, 2 (4). 

Family Violence: It’s not Ok - New Zealand www.areyouok.org.nz

This campaign lead by the Ministry of Social Development is a community driven initiative whose audience includes perpetrators, victims, influencers, activists and the systems to change attitudes and raise awareness regarding family violence. The campaign is delivered through tv ads, videos, helpline, posters, balloons, information line, toolkit for community action, social media. A feature of the website includes “Ask a former victim” and “Ask a former abuser”. This campaign is informed by a comprehensive research and evaluation program. In the formative stages a literature review was conducted followed by focus groups and in-depth interviews with male perpetrators of family violence regarding their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. The Monitoring strategy included surveys regarding reach and retention. Outcome evaluation included tracking calls to helpline, increase in use of community resources, and surveys to measure changes in attitudes and behaviors.

Contesse, J; Fenrich, J. (2008-2009). “It’s not OK”: New Zealand’s efforts to eliminate violence against women. Fordham International Law Journal. http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/frdint32&div=56&id=&page

Families Commission. Campaign for Action on family violence: Formative Research.

New Zealand Government. (2012). It’s not Ok. Year in Review. 

Point Research Ltd. (2010). An innovative approach to changing social attitudes around family violence in New Zealand: Key ideas, insights and lessons learnt. The Campaign for Action on Family Violence. ISBN 978-0-458-32387-0. 

Surgenor, G. (2009). “It’s not OK” shines a light on family violence. Communication World, Nov-Dec 2009. 

Freedom From Fear – Australia 

A variety of message dissemination methods including print media, television, radio and public events to promote the message that domestic violence is a serious problem were utilized to reach out to perpetrators and at-risk males between the ages of 15 and 40 years.  The campaign incorporated a comprehensive evaluation program including formative research, monitoring and outcome measurement. The formative process included focus groups, qualitative concept screening and pre-testing of ads.   The campaign was monitored through surveys regarding message recall and retention pre, mid and post campaign. The Outcome evaluation included measurement of changes in attitudes and beliefs, reach of the messages, and # of calls to helpline.

Gibbons, L; Paterson, D. (2000). Freedom from Fear Campaign against domestic violence: An innovative approach to reducing crime. Paper presented at the Conference Reducing Criminality: Partnerships and Best Practice convened by the Australian Institute of Criminology, in association with the WA Ministry of Justice, Department of Local Government, Western Australian Police Service and Safer 

Robert, J.D; Paterson, D; Francas, M. (1999). Targeting male perpetrators of intimate partner violence: Western Australia’s Freedom from fear campaign. Social Marketing Quarterly 5(3) 127 – 144. http://smq.sagepub.com/content/5/3/127.short

It’s your business – United States

The “It’s your business” campaign presented its message regarding domestic violence to African American adults through radio drama.  Although the evaluation revealed an association between campaign exposure and anti-domestic violence beliefs, it was concluded that this may have been due to selective exposure rather than campaign impact because the exposure to the campaign was so low.  Evaluation included a post-test survey only. 

Wray, R. J., Hornik, R. M., Gandy, O. H., Stryker, J., Ghez, M., & Mitchell-Clark, K. (2004). Preventing domestic violence in the African American community: Assessing the impact of a dramatic radio serial. Journal of Health Communication9(1), 31-52.


Wray, R. (2006). Public health communication theory and strategies for interpersonal violence prevention. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, (13) 41-60. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J146v13n03_03#.UvqZnGJdWSo

Know Your Power – United States

The Know Your Power campaign utilizes posters, bookmarks, and images on buses to raise awareness regarding violence against women and domestic violence and supports the engagement of college and university students in the Bringing in the Bystander program. The evaluation of the campaign involved a pre-post survey of changes in attitudes and behaviours after exposure to the campaign only. Evaluations of the Bringing in the Bystander education program are reported separately elsewhere.

Potter, S.J. (2012). Using a multimedia social marketing campaign to increase active bystanders on the college campus. Journal of American College Health, 60 (4). http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07448481.2011.599350#.UvT2oPk7tcY

Men’s Domestic Abuse Check-up –United States 

This social marketing campaign was developed to engage men who were abusive in their relationships to seek help. The primary audience was identified as males 18 and older from diverse socio-demographic backgrounds who were abusive in their relationships or using alcohol or drugs. Stages of Change theory informed the campaign. Message delivery methods included news stories, paid advertisements in print media and on radio; ads in buses, a website, brochures and flyers. The campaign was developed using Formative research including literature and focus groups with men; and evaluated using monitoring processes. The message was revised during the monitoring stage based on response to campaign messages. Focus groups were conducted to learn how message was being received. Outcome results were not reported but the goal of the campaign was to get men to call a helpline or attend a counselling program.

Mbilinyi, L;  Zegree, J;  Roffman, R.A.; Walker, D; Neighbors, C; Edleson, J. (2008). Development of a Marketing Campaign to Recruit Non-adjudicated and Untreated Abusive Men for a Brief Telephone Intervention. Journal of Family Violence, 23, 343-351. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10896-008-9157-8#page-1

New Zealand Police Family Violence campaign -New Zealand

This campaign began in 1993 with the goal of changing attitudes from “it’s just a domestic” to “Family violence is a crime; to encourage reporting or seek help; and to deter offenders. The campaign ran for three years and evaluations revealed extensive recall of campaign messages. Significant outcome and impact was also found including increase in calls to domestic violence hotline, increase in prosecutions, reduction in intimate partner homicides, and increase in request for services.

Taylor, J.J. (1999). New Zealand Police response to family violence. Paper presented at 2nd Conference of Women and Policing, Brisbane, AU; July 7-9, 1999. 

Open Your Eyes – United States

This campaign launched in 2006 was designed by students and was presented using billboards, television and other print media. Outcome evaluation found that women increased their perceived severity of domestic violence, but men’s attitudes either moved in the opposite direction or did not change. 

Keller, S.N; Wilkinson, T; Otjen, A.J. (2010). Unintended effects of a domestic violence campaign. Journal of Advertising, 39 (4), 53-67. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2753/JOA0091-3367390404#.UvT2-vk7tcY

Keller, S; Otjen, A.J. (2007), Creating and executing an applied interdisciplinary campaign for domestic violence prevention.  Journal of Marketing Education, 29 (3), 234–244. Free full text available at: http://jmd.sagepub.com/content/29/3/234.full.pdf+html

Philadelphia Let’s Stop Violence Campaign – United States

This campaign was informed by formative research that included a survey of Philadelphia adults regarding their beliefs, intentions to act and reported actions regarding domestic violence. The campaign was directed at adults and messages were delivered using action kits, media releases and community blitzes. Post campaign surveys were conducted regarding behavioural impact and change.

Nabi, R.L; Southwell, B; Hornik, R. (2002) Predicting intentions versus predicting behaviors: Domestic violence prevention from a theory of reasoned action perspective. Health Communication, 14 (4) 429-449.  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15327027HC1404_2

Wray, R. (2006). Public health communication theory and strategies for interpersonal violence prevention. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, (13) 41-60. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J146v13n03_03#.UvqZnGJdWSo

Rural New York Domestic Violence campaign – United States

This campaign was delivered in two stages with the first messages being aimed at health care workers to educate them on what to do if someone is abused. In the second stage, victims were encouraged to come forward and get help. The purpose of the campaign was to improve domestic violence identification, management and referral in a rural health network. Messages were delivered through radio, posters, mailings to libraries and clergy; speaking engagements and community events. Evaluation reported included a post-campaign survey of knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors compared to a control group.

Gadomski, A. M., Tripp, M., Wolff, D. A., Lewis, C. and Jenkins, P. (2001), Impact of a Rural Domestic Violence Prevention Campaign. The Journal of Rural Health, 17: 266–277. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2001.tb00964.x http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-0361.2001.tb00964.x/abstract

Gadomski, A. M., Wolff, D. A; Tripp, M; Lewis, C; Short, L. (2001). Changes in health care providers’ knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors regarding domestic violence following a multifaceted intervention. Academic Medicine, 76 (10), 1045-1052.   http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/2001/10000/Changes_in_Health_Care_Providers__Knowledge,.15.aspx

Shanti Project – United States

The Shanti Project embarked in extensive formative research with the Gujarati people living in Michigan, United States to develop a campaign regarding domestic violence and focusing on the message that children can become the unintended victims of marital violence.  The campaign message was delivered through postures, PSAs, brochures, community events, advertising in local religious, ethnic and cultural organization publications.  Outcome evaluation included post campaign surveys of knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and beliefs.

Yoshihama, M; Ramakrishnan, A; Hammock, A; Khaliq, M. (2012). Intimate partner violence prevention program in an Asian Immigrant community: Integrating theories, data and community. Violence against Women, 18 (7) 763-783.

Hammock, A; Yoshihama, M; Eana, A. (20130. Capacity building through a community action team: Findings from an intimate partner violence prevention program. Paper presented at the American Public Health Association Meeting, November 2-6, 3013; Boston MA.

Strength to Change – Great Britain 

The Strength to Change campaign was designed to encourage abusive and at-risk men and fathers to seek help at a new domestic violence service in the Hull Region of Great Britain. The campaign was developed through extensive formative research. The campaign message was delivered through website, helpline and postcards distributed in the community. Formative research guided the development of the campaign message and definition of the primary audience. Outcome evaluation included post campaign surveys regarding change outcomes and behavior impact. The campaign was delivered between 2009 and 2011.

Stanley, N; Fell, B; Miller, P; Thomson, G; Watson, J. (March 2009).  Strength to Change; Men’s Talk: Research to inform hull’s social marketing initiative on domestic violence. University of Central Lancashire School of Social Work. http://clok.uclan.ac.uk/2028/1/Men's_Talk_full_report_pdf.pdf

Stanley, N; Graham-Kevan, N; Borthwick, R. (2012). Fathers and domestic violence: Building motivation for change through perpetrator programmes. Child Abuse Review, 21, 264-274. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/car.2222/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

Stanley, N; Fell, B; Miller, P; Thomson, G; Watson, J. (2012). Men’s talk: Men’s understandings of violence against women and motivations for change. Violence against Women, 18 (11) 1300-1318. http://vaw.sagepub.com/content/18/11/1300.short

Violence against women: It’s against all the rules – Australia www.justice.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/vaw/ll_vaw.nsf

This campaign based on social norms theory, feminist theory and utilizing a gender analysis was directed at men aged 21-29 years in 2000. The message was conveyed primarily at sporting events and utilized well-known sports figures to convey the message. An extensive formative and outcome evaluation were conducted on this campaign. Outcome evaluation included feedback from Regional Violence Prevention specialists; and measurement of penetration and understanding of the message.

Hubert, C. (2002). Violence against Women: It’s against all the rules. Evaluation of the NSW Statewide Campaign to reduce violence against women. NSW Attorney General’s Department. http://www.endvawnow.org/uploads/browser/files/its_against_all_the_rules_case_study_english.pdf