(xii) Communications and social marketing strategies

Note: Also see this bibliography on social marketing and communication in the 'Working with men' section.


Berkowitz, A. D., Bogen, K. W., Lopez, R., Mulla, M. M., & Orchowski, L. M. (2021). The social norms approach as a strategy to prevent violence perpetrated by men and boys: A review of the literature. In L. M. Orchowski & A. Berkowitz (Eds.), Engaging Boys and Men in Sexual Assault Prevention: Theory, Research and Practice (pp. 149-182). Elsevier.

Castelino, T., Colla, M. & Boulet, J. (2013). Social Marketing for Preventing Violence Against Women: Making every action matter - Literature Review for the Challenge Family Violence Project. Melbourne: Borderlands Cooperative.

Donovan, Robert J., and Rodney Vlais. (2005). VicHealth Review of Communication Components of Social Marketing / Public Education Campaigns Focused on Violence Against Women. Melbourne: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.

Drezin, Jenny, and Megan Lloyd-Laney. (2003). Making a Difference: Strategic Communications to End Violence against Women. New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Fulu, E., A. Kerr-Wilson, and J. Lang (2014). What works to prevent violence against women and girls? Evidence Review of interventions to prevent violence against women and girls. Pretoria, South Africa: Medical Research Council. (See pp. 6-7)

Haskell, L. (2011). Key best practices for effective sexual violence public education campaigns: A summary. Toronto: Queen’s Printer for Ontario.

Henley, N. (2004). Social marketing: “Selling” injury prevention. In R. McClure, M. Stevenson, & S. McEvoy (Eds.), The scientific basis of injury prevention and control (pp. 318–333). Melbourne, Australia: IP Communications.

Henley, N., Donovan, R. & Francas, M. (2007). Developing and implementing communication messages. In In L. S. Doll, S. Bonzo, J. Mercy, and D. Sleet (eds.), Handbook of Injury and Violence Prevention. New York: Springer.

Kerr-Wilson, A.; Gibbs, A.; McAslan Fraser E.; Ramsoomar, L.; Parke, A.; Khuwaja, HMA.; and Rachel Jewkes. (2020). A rigorous global evidence review of interventions to prevent violence against women and girls. Pretoria, South Africa: What Works to prevent violence among women and girls global Programme. (See pp. 26-28)

Lee, C., Bouchard, J., & Wong, J. S. (2023). A Popular Approach, but Do They Work? A Systematic Review of Social Marketing Campaigns to Prevent Sexual Violence on College Campuses. Violence Against Women, 29(3-4), 495-526.

McKenzie-Mohr, Doug. (2011). Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-based Social Marketing. 3rd edition. Gabriola, B.C.: New Society Publishers.

Paluck, Elizabeth Levy, and Laurie Ball. (2010). Social norms marketing aimed at gender based violence: A literature review and critical assessment. New York: International Rescue Committee.

Respect Victoria, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Swinburne University of Technology. (2020). Re-shaping Attitudes: A toolkit for using the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) in the primary prevention of violence against women. Melbourne; Respect Victoria.

Seff, I. (2021). Social norms sustaining intimate partner violence: a systematic review of methodologies for proxy measures. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 15248380211013141.

Semahegn, A., Torpey, K., Manu, A., Assefa, N., Tesfaye, G., & Ankomah, A. (2019). Are interventions focused on gender-norms effective in preventing domestic violence against women in low and lower-middle income countries? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Health, 16(1), 1-31.

Smith-Darden, J., McCauley, H., Kynn, J., Orchowski, L., & Reidy, D. (2022). Raising Awareness about Men’s Violence Against Women: Theory, Research and Practice. In L. Orchowski & A. Berkowitz (Eds.), Engaging boys and men in sexual assault prevention: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 237-264): Elsevier.

Svejkar, Domenic, Lucy Klippan, and Tasman Munro. (2020). Communications, Campaigns and Messaging about Domestic and Family Violence: Literature Review Findings. Sydney: UTS Design Innovation Research Centre for NSW Justice.

USAID. (2021). USAID’s Collective Action to Reduce Gender-Based Violence (CARE-GBV): How to identify and advance equitable social norms. Guidance Note, USAID.


Note: For guidance on conducting evaluations of social marketing, see here.


Further references

Ahlenback, V., & Fraser, E. (2022). Effectives social norms approaches in FCAS contexts. Ending Violence Helpdesk research report No. 1. London UK: Ending Violence Helpdesk.

Allen, S. H. (2018). The Short-Term Effects of Gendered Primary Prevention Campaigns on Ambivalent Sexism and Beliefs about the Acceptability of Intimate Partner Violence.

Beres, M. A. (2018). The Proliferation of Consent-Focused Rape Prevention Social Marketing Materials. Orienting Feminism (pp. 181-196): Springer.

Blakeslee, K. M., Patel, D. M., & Simon, M. A. (eds.). (2012). Communications and Technology for Violence Prevention: Workshop Summary. National Academies Press.

Bowman, N. D., Knight, J., Schlue, L, & Cohen, E. L. (2019). What if it happened to me? Socially conscious music videos can address campus assault: Narrative engagement and rape myth acceptance. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 8(4), 454-463. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000189

Boyko, J. A., Wathen, C. N., & Kothari, A. (2017). Effectively engaging stakeholders and the public in developing violence prevention messages. BMC Womens Health, 17(1), 35. doi:10.1186/s12905-017-0390-2

Campbell, M., Neil, J. A., Jaffe, P. G., & Kelly, T. (2010). Engaging abusive men in seeking community intervention: A critical research & practice priority. Journal of Family Violence, 25(4), 413-422.

Cantor, J., & Wilson, B. J. (2003). Media and violence: Intervention strategies for reducing aggression. Media Psychology, 5(4), 363-403.

Cismaru M, and Lavack, A. (2011). Campaigns Targeting Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 12(4): 183-197.

Cismaru, M., Jensen, G., & Lavack, A. M. (2014). Using mass media domestic violence campaigns to encourage bystander intervention. Advertising and violence: Concepts and perspectives, 197-214.

Coker, A. L., Bush, H. M., Brancato, C. J., Huang, Z., Clear, E. R., & Follingstad, D. R. (2020). Longer Term Impact of Bystander Training to Reduce Violence Acceptance and Sexism. Journal of school violence, 1-14. doi:10.1080/15388220.2020.1760108

Darnell, D. A., & Cook, S. L. (2009). Investigating the utility of the film War Zone in the prevention of street harassment. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33(3), 266-274.

Davis, M., Fernandez, B., Jonson-Reid, M., & Kyriakakis, S. (2019). Pathways to Seeking Help From a Partner Abuse Intervention Program: A Qualitative Study of Voluntary and Non-Court-Mandated Latino Men’s Experiences. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 0886260519884680.

Donovan, R.J., D. Paterson, and M. Francas. (1999). Targeting male perpetrators of intimate partner violence: Western Australia’s Freedom From Fear Campaign. Social Marketing Quarterly, 5: 127-144.

Donovan, R.J., M. Francas, D. Paterson, and R. Zapelli. (2000). Formative research for mass media-based campaigns: Western Australia’s Freedom From Fear Campaign targeting male perpetrators of intimate partner violence. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 10: 78-83.

Donovan, Robert J., Geoffrey Jalleh, Lynda Fielder, and Robyn Ouschan. (2008). When confrontational images may be counter productive: reinforcing the case for pre-testing communications in sensitive areas. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 19: 132-136.

Edenfield, A. C. (2019). Queering consent: Design and sexual consent messaging. Communication Design Quarterly Review, 7(2), 50-63.

Finestone, E. (2011). “Just trying to avoid doing it”: exploring gendered interpretations and discussions of sexual assault media campaigns for men on campus. (Masters thesis). Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario.

Fix, R. L., Busso, D. S., Mendelson, T., & Letourneau, E. J. (2021). Changing the paradigm: Using strategic communications to promote recognition of child sexual abuse as a preventable public health problem. Child Abuse & Neglect, 117, 105061.

Flood, Michael. (2018). Educating Men Through Media. Chapter 7 in Engaging Men and Boys in Violence Prevention. Palgrave Macmillan. URL: https://xyonline.net/content/new-book-engaging-men-and-boys-violence-prevention.

Frisby, Cynthia M. (2009). M.A.N.L.Y MEN: Changing adolescent perceptions of masculinity and emotional expression: A market profile of the adolescent male market. Technical Report, Missouri School of Journalism.

Gabler, L. (2016). Men against Violence: Analysis of Social Awareness Campaigns in Poland. (Masters thesis), Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.

Gadd, D., Corr, M-L., Fox, C.L., and Butler, I. (2014). This is Abuse or Is it? Domestic abuse perpetrators’ responses to anti-domestic violence publicity. Crime, Media, Culture 10, no. 1: 3-32.

Gibbons, L. & Paterson, D. (2000). Freedom from fear campaign against domestic violence: an innovative approach to reducing crime. Paper to Reducing Criminality: Partnerships and Best Practice, Perth: Australian Institute of Criminology in association with the Western Australian Ministry of Justice, the Department of Local Government, the Western Australian Police Service and Safer WA, July 31 – August 1.

Goehring, C., Renegar, V., & Puhl, L. (2017). “Abusive furniture”: Visual metonymy and the Hungarian stop violence against women campaign. Women’s studies in communication, 40(4), 440-457.

Goldrick-Jones, Amanda. (2004). The Ribbon and the Rose: Visual Rhetorics Against Violence to Women. Ethnologies, 26(1): 95-123.

Haas, Emily Joy, Marifran Mattson, and Kathlyn Wilkinson. (2011). “Flirting is Not Consent. Ask Everyone, Every Time”: Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Health Communication Campaign to Prevent Sexual Violence. Cases in Public Health Communication and Marketing, 5(1): 47-54.

Haskell, Lori. (2011). Key best practices for effective sexual violence public education. Presentation, context unknown.

Hastings, G., and M. S., J. Webb. (2004). Fear appeals in social marketing: Strategic and ethical reasons for concern. Psychology and Marketing, 21(11): 961-986.

Henley, N., Donovan, R. & Francas, M. (2007). Developing and implementing communication messages. In In L. S. Doll, S. Bonzo, J. Mercy, and D. Sleet (eds.), Handbook of Injury and Violence Prevention. New York: Springer.

Horsfall, Briony, Leah Bromfield, and Myfanwy McDonald. (2010). Are social marketing campaigns effective in preventing child abuse and neglect? NCPC Issues (National Child Protection Clearinghouse), No. 32.

Hovick, S. R., & Silver, N. (2019). “Consent is sexy”: A poster campaign using sex-positive images and messages to increase dyadic sexual communication. Journal of American College Health, 67(8), 817-824.

Hudson, K. (2018). Preventing Child Sexual Abuse through Education: The Work of Stop It Now! Wales. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 24(1), 99-113.

Jansson, M., and M. Wendt. (2006). ‘“Heja Uffe!”. Så legitimeras mäns överordning’ [‘“Go, Uffe!”. How Men’s Domination is Legitimised’, my translation], Kvinnovetenskaplig tidskrift, vol. 4, p. 15.

Kantar Public and Our Watch. (2018). Tracking change: Snapshot evaluation findings for The Line campaign 2015 to 2017. Melbourne, VIC: Our Watch.

Kantar TNS. (2017). Tracking change: Midterm snapshot evaluation findings for The Line campaign. Melbourne: Our Watch.

Katz, J., Olin, R., Herman, C., & DuBois, M. (2013). Spotting the signs: first‐year college students’ responses to bystander‐themed rape prevention posters. Journal of Community Psychology, 41(4), 523-529.

Kaur, S., & Zurbriggen, E. L. (2020). Changing India’s Rape Culture: A Focus on Cultural Values, Bollywood, and Rape Laws. RAPE CULTURE 101: Programming Change.

Keller, S. N., Wilkinson, T., & Otjen, A. J. (2010). Unintended effects of a domestic violence campaign. Journal of Advertising, 39(4), 53-68.

Keller, S.N., & Honea, J.C. (2015). Navigating the gender minefield: An IPV prevention campaign sheds light on the gender gap. Global Public Health: an International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, [ahead-of-print]. DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2015.1036765.

Kemshall, H., & Moulden, H. M. (2017). Communicating About Child Sexual Abuse with the Public: Learning the Lessons from Public Awareness Campaigns. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 23(2), 124-138.

Kim, Allegra N. and Mina L. White. (2008). Evaluation of California’s MyStrength Campaign and MOST Clubs: Summary of Preliminary Findings on Attitudes and School Climate. California Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Prevention for Injury Control Branch.

Kim, E. A., & Muralidharan, S. (2019). The Role of Empathy and Efficacy In Public Service Announcements: Using Narratives to Induce Bystander Intervention in Domestic Violence. Journal of Advertising Research.

La Ferle, C., Muralidharan, S., & Kim, E. (2019). Using Guilt and Shame Appeals from an Eastern Perspective to Promote Bystander Intervention: A Study of Mitigating Domestic Violence in India. Journal of advertising, 48(5), 555-568.

Lacayo, V, Obregón, R & Singhal, A. (2008). Approaching social change as a complex problem in a world that treats it as a complicated one: The case of Puntos de Encuentro, Nicaragua. Investigación y Desarrollo, 16(2).

Lapsansky, C., & Chatterjee, J. S. (2013). Masculinity matters: using entertainment education to engage men in ending violence against women in India. Critical Arts, 27(1), 36-55.

Magaraggia, S., & Cherubini, D. (2017). Beyond bruised faces and invisible men? Changes in social advertising on male violence against women in Italy. Feminist Media Studies, 17(3), 440-456.

Mbilinyi, L. F., Neighbors, C., Walker, D. D., Roffman, R. A., Zegree, J., Edleson, J., & O’Rourke, A. (2011). A telephone intervention for substance-using adult male perpetrators of intimate partner violence. Research on social work practice, 21(1), 43-56.

Mbilinyi, L.F., 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(5), 343-351. doi: 10.1007/s10896-008-9157-8

McCaughey, M., and N. King. (1995). Rape Education Videos: Presenting Mean Women Instead of Dangerous Men. Teaching Sociology, 23, 374-388.

McMahon, S., & Seabrook, R. C. (2019). Impact of Exposure to Sexual Violence Prevention Messages on Students’ Bystander Behavior. Health promotion practice, 20(5), 711-720.

Mirani, S., Pannu, P., & Malhotra, C. (2014). Empowering women through ICTs: Cyber campaigns on violence against women in India. Indian Journal of Public Administration, 60(3), 679-695.

Moreno Martín, F., Alvarez, M. J., Alonso, E. A., & Villanueva, I. F. (2019). Campaigns Against Intimate Partner Violence Toward Women in Portugal: Types of Prevention and Target Audiences. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 1-20.

Morton, C. R., & Elias, T. (2018). Next steps in campaign strategies to reduce teen dating violence: Examining media campaigns through the lens of “boy culture”. Cogent Social Sciences, 4(1), 1501877.

Mukherjee, T. (2016). Role of Social Media in Showcasing Women Atrocities: A Study on Jaipur Youth. Amity Journal of Media & Communications Studies (AJMCS), 6(1).

Ollis, D. (2017). The power of feminist pedagogy in Australia: vagina shorts and the primary prevention of violence against women. Gender and Education, 29(4), 461-475. doi:10.1080/09540253.2017.1321737

Our Watch. (2019). How to report on violence against women and their children. Melbourne, VIC: Our Watch.

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. Point Research Ltd, New Zealand.

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), 282-295.

Potter, S. J., Moynihan, M. M., & Stapleton, J. G. (2011). Using social self-identification in social marketing materials aimed at reducing violence against women on campus. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(5), 971-990.

Potter, S. J., Stapleton, J. G., Mansager, K., & Nies, C. (2015). Adapting and piloting the know your power® Bystander social marketing campaign for a diverse campus population. Cases in public health communication and marketing.

Potter, S.J., and J.G. Stapleton. (2011). Bringing in the target audience in bystander social marketing materials for communities: suggestions for practitioners. Violence Against Women, 17(6), 797-812.

Potter, S.J., and J.G. Stapleton. (2012). Translating sexual assault prevention from a college campus to a United States military installation: piloting the know-your-power bystander social marketing campaign. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(8): 1593-621.

Powell, A. (2011). Review of Bystander Approaches in Support of Preventing Violence Against Women. Melbourne: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth).

Quinn, G. P., B. A. Bell-Ellison, W. Loomis and M. Tucci (2007). Adolescent perceptions of violence: Formative research findings from a social marketing campaign to reduce violence among middle school youth. Public Health, 121(5): 357-366.

Randolph W, Viswanath K. (2004). Lessons learned from public health mass media campaigns: marketing health in a crowded media world. Annu Rev Public Health, 25: 419–437.

Rothman, E. F., Decker, M. R., & Silverman, J. G. (2006). Evaluation of a teen dating violence social marketing campaign: Lessons learned when the null hypothesis was accepted. New Directions for Evaluation, 2006(110), 33-44.

Solórzano I., Abaunza H., and C. Molina. (2000). Evaluación de impacto de la campaña contra las mujeres un desastre que los hombres si podemos evitar [Impact evaluation of the campaign “violence against women: a disaster we can prevent as men”]. Managua, CANTERA.

Stanley, N., Ellis, J., Farrelly, N., Hollinghurst, S., Bailey, S., & Downe, S. (2017). “What matters to someone who matters to me”: using media campaigns with young people to prevent interpersonal violence and abuse. Health Expectations, 20(4), 648-654.

Stanley, N., Fell, B., Miller, P., Thomson, G., & Watson, J. (2012). Men’s talk: men’s understanding of violence against women and motivations for change. Violence against Women, 18, 1300–1318. doi:10.1177/1077801212470547

Swaim, R. C. and K. Kelly (2008). Efficacy of a Randomized Trial of a Community and School-based Anti-violence Media Intervention Among Small-town Middle School Youth. Prevention Science 9(3): 202-202-214.

Thomson, G., Stanley, N., & Miller, P. (2013). Give me ‘strength to change’: Insights into a social marketing campaign in the North of England. Primary Health Care Research and Development, 14, 350–359. doi:10.1017/S1463423612000473

Winkel, F. W., & De Kleuver, E. (1997). Communication Aimed at Changing Cognitions About Sexual Intimidation: Comparing the Impact of a Perpetrator-Focused Versus a Victim-Focused Persuasive Strategy. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 12(4), 513-529.

Wood, Lisa, and Justine Leavy. (2006). Review of the Western Australian Freedom From Fear Campaign. Perth: Family and Domestic Violence Unit, Department for Community Development, WA.

Yule, K., Hoxmeier, J. C., Petranu, K., & Grych, J. (2020). The chivalrous bystander: the role of gender-based beliefs and empathy on bystander behavior and perceived barriers to intervention. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 0886260520916277.


Social marketing: General guides


French, Jeff, and Ross Gordon. (2019). Strategic Social Marketing: For Behaviour and Social Change. London: Sage.

Noar, S. M. (2006). A 10-year retrospective of research in health mass media campaigns: Where do we go from here? Journal of Health Communication, 11(1): 21–42.

Tellis, Gerard J. (2004). Effective advertising: Understanding when, how and why advertising works. Sage Publications, University of South Carolina.

Wallack, Laurence. (2000). The role of mass media in creating social capital: A new direction for public health. In B. D. Smedley & S. L. Syme (Eds.), Promoting health: Intervention strategies from social and behavioral research (pp. 337-365). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Wallack, Laurence. (2002). Public health, social change, and media advocacy. Social Marketing Quarterly, 8(2): 25-31.

Sonenshein, S. (2012). Being a positive social change agent through issue selling. In: K. Golden-Biddle & J. Dutton (Eds.), Exploring positive social change in organization: building a theoretical and research foundation, (pp. 49-67). Routledge.



Social norms campaigns


Berkowitz, A. D. (2005). An Overview of the Social Norms Approach. Chapter 13 in Lederman, LC & Stewart, LP (eds), Changing the Culture of College Drinking: A Socially Situated Health Communication Campaign. Hampton Press, Cresskill, NJ.

Berkowitz, A. D. (2010). Fostering Healthy Norms to Prevent Violence and Abuse: The Social Norms Approach. In Keith Kaufman, ed. The Prevention of Sexual Violence: A Practitioner’s Sourcebook (pp. 147-171). Holyoke MA: NEARI Press.

Berkowitz, A. D. (2011). Using How College Men Feel About Being Men And “Doing The Right Thing” To Promote Men’s Development. In Jason Laker and Tracy Davis, editors, Masculinities in Higher Education, New York: Routledge.

Berkowitz, A. D. (2013). A Grassroots Guide to Fostering Healthy Norms to Reduce Violence in Our Communities: Social Norms Toolkit. Atlanta, GA: New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Bohner, G., Pina, A., Tendayi Viki, G., & Siebler, F. (2010). Using social norms to reduce men’s rape proclivity: Perceived rape myth acceptance of out-groups may be more influential than that of in-groups. Psychology, Crime & Law, 16(8), 671-693.

Bruce, S. (2002). The “A Man” Campaign: Marketing Social Norms to Men to Prevent Sexual Assault. The Report on Social Norms. Working Paper #5, Little Falls, NJ: PaperClip Communications.

Fabiano, Patricia, H. Wesley Perkins, Alan Berkowitz, Jeffrey Linkenbach, and Christopher Stark. (2004). Engaging men as Social Justice Allies in Ending Violence Against Women: Evidence for a Social Norms Approach. Journal of American College Health, 52(3), pp. 105-112.

Gidycz, C. A., L. M. Orchowski, and A. D. Berkowitz. (2011). Preventing Sexual Aggression Among College Men: An Evaluation of a Social Norms and Bystander Approach Intervention Program. Violence Against Women, 17(6): 720-42.

Hillenbrand-Gunn, T. L., Heppner, M. J., Mauch, P. A., & Park, H. J. (2010). Men as allies: The efficacy of a high school rape prevention intervention. Journal of Counseling & Development, 88(1), 43-51.

Kilmartin, C., T. Smith, A. Green, H. Heinzen, M. Kuchler, and D. Kolar (2008). A Real Time Social Norms Intervention to Reduce Male Sexism. Sex Roles, 59(3): 264-273.

Paluck, Elizabeth Levy, and Laurie Ball. (2010). Social norms marketing aimed at gender based violence: A literature review and critical assessment. New York: International Rescue Committee.

Rogers, M., Rumley, T. & Lovatt, G. (2019). The Change Up Project: Using social norming theory with young people to address domestic abuse and promote healthy relationships, Journal of Family Violence, 34(507).

World Health Organization. (2009). Violence Prevention: The evidence. Geneva: World Health Organization. Briefing 3: Challenging norms.

Zounlome, N. O. O., & Wong, Y. J. (2019). Addressing male-targeted university sexual aggression: An experimental evaluation of a social norms approach. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, 20(4), 528-540. doi:10.1037/men0000181