EU Science Hub

Insights from behavioural sciences to prevent and combat violence against women. Literature review

This literature review unveils possible behavioural causes of violence against women and presents behavioural levers to its prevention and reduction, along with general principles for effective communication. Several awareness-raising and education initiatives in the field and containing a behavioural component are pointed out. The proposed approach puts a strong focus on the evaluation of actual impact. Four main conclusions are reached: 1. Initiatives should be designed to encourage or discourage a specific behaviour in a well-defined target group; 2. Initiatives should be designed using appropriate behavioural levers; 3. In order to ensure that initiative has the intended effects on the target audience, pretesting is crucial; 4. It is essential to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely objectives, and to evaluate them. This literature review was carried out to support applicants to a call for proposals published by the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, to co-fund initiatives tackling violence against women in EU Member States.