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From Boys to Men

13 Dec 2022

Researcher honoured for his work to stop boys becoming domestic abuse perpetrators

Professor Dave Gadd

A researcher from our School of Social Sciences has been honoured for work to find out why some boys become domestic abuse perpetrators and what more can be done to prevent it happening.

Professor David Gadd received the ‘Finalist’ award for the prestigious Celebrating Impact Prize of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for outstanding impact in the world around us.

While his findings are frank, they do show there’s a way forward that can work – and have led to a number of significant interventions at a local and national level.

“Perhaps the most important thing our research established is that it is pointless simply telling young men that domestic abuse is ‘wrong’ – most already know that,” Dave explains.

“Rather, public education campaigns must engage with young men on their own terms around issues of trust, vulnerability and control over the long term if they are to secure sustained reductions in the rates of men’s violence against women and girls.”

His research project – From Boys to Men – contributed to Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority’s (GMCA) ten-year strategy to tackle gender-based violence, and the toolkit generated by the project has influenced school-based preventative strategies as well as being rolled out in Malta, France and Spain.

The Home Office’s ‘This is Abuse’ social marketing campaign, Police Scotland’s ‘Don’t be that Guy’ campaign, and Greater Manchester’s ‘Is This Okay?’ campaign were all influenced by findings about the importance of social marketing campaigns in creating behaviour change among men.

“Government as well as other agencies and organisations all strive to provide young people who use violence with opportunities for change – Professor David Gadd’s work illuminates how to make this a reality and reduce domestic abuse in society,” said Nicole Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales.

Find out more about Professor Gadd’s ‘From Boys to Men’ project.

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