Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Which Is the Most Convincing of Them All? Exploring Anti-Domestic Violence Posters.

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Shortland, ND ; Palasinski, M

Although domestic abuse of women by men has received significant media, police, and research attention, domestic violence directed toward men has been marginalized across the board and is still rarely treated seriously. The purpose of this research, then, is to examine and compare different anti-domestic violence messages in which the abuser's gender is not always clear. In Study 1, 200 U.K. participants (100 females and 100 males, aged 18-67, M = 28.98, SD = 9.613) evaluated posters that varied across three levels; in that the subject (male or female) was depicted as being silenced, bruised, or experiencing live abuse. The results showed that the posters featuring female victims were all rated as more effective than posters showing male victims. In Study 2, 140 different U.K. participants (95 females; 45 males) aged 18 to 59 (M = 27.27, SD = 10.662) evaluated the cartoon facial images of Disney characters who had been altered to look like victims of violence and real-life corresponding photos of human models. The results showed that the realistic posters were found to be more believable, emotional, and effective than the cartoons. The implications of such perceptions are discussed.
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