Study on 'Collection of methods, tools and good practices in the field of domestic violence (area D of Beijing Platform for Action)' : awareness raising
Awareness-raising is a central tool for prevention and can include working with the general public to change attitudes and the degree of tolerance, expose the magnitude of the issue, and end the secrecy around it. This tool can also target specific groups with narrow messages. Public awareness campaigns may be developed at the international, national, regional or local level. Awareness-raising initiatives usually challenge values and norms that perpetuate stereotypes and support inequality by explaining how they influence and limit the options during decision-making process. Awareness-raising campaigns aimed at prevention of domestic violence usually have three main aims: firstly, to signal that violence against women is not tolerable; secondly, to increase awareness on the dimension and costs of violence; thirdly to provide information on the services available. Accordingly, such campaigns may be an important tool to inform complainants or survivors of domestic violence about their rights, existing laws and available remedies. In the majority of Member States awareness-raising campaigns related to domestic violence have been launched. However, primary prevention seems to receive less attention and many of these interventions are localised or not mainstreamed into school curricula or youth work. Still there are several Member States which also include programs and activities to educate school children and teachers, apart from the usual media campaigns, posters, etc. Working with men is another important dimension in awareness-raising campaigns. Strategies to involve men may include work to raise awareness of the issue with the organized groups (military, trade unions, sports, the police) or campaign that use positive male role models to oppose violence against women. Several initiatives, such as the White Ribbon campaign have been launched in many Member States.