Skip Navigation
By on January 14, 2010

What can "stuff" do to prevent sexual violence?

Throughout the country, organizations are planning for upcoming “awareness” months, such as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in February, Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April and Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. Most people are making decisions about what collateral items (also known as “stuff”) should be used.

The stuff includes many items such as ribbons, teeshirts, wristbands, water bottles, bumperstickers and temporary tattoos. PreventConnect recently distributed branded flash drives (preloaded with some of our podcasts).

Do these items make a difference to create the change we are seeking? In Craig Lefebvre’s blog Social Marketing and Social Change, he addresses this question with “four things that ‘stuff’ can do:”

1. mark tribal or brand identity (“I am one of us”) – if I self-identify as one, I will be more likely to act as one.
2. become a social object (‘I want to talk about this with you’) – when you see it, ask me about it. I want to share what I know or passionately believe in.
3. create ubiquity (‘It’s everywhere I go’) – raises the salience (not the same as awareness) of the issue/product/service/behavior and thus the normative judgment.
4. cue action (Whoops, almost forgot to do it’) – the best intentions still need prompts for behavior.

(click here for the full blog)

What stuff do you find helpful in prevention of domestic violence and sexual violence?

3 responses to “What can "stuff" do to prevent sexual violence?”

  1. Here is an example of “red cards” being effective as described on a social marketing email group:
    Red Card is a component of a health communication campaign led by C-Change in Madagascar that was designed to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and to curb associated risky behaviours by “letting girls call the shots” and sparking conversation between parents and adolescents. The campaign appropriated the signal soccer referees use to kick aggressive players out of a game; paper Red Cards were distributed to 1.5 million young women across Madagascar. These girls use the Red Cards as ice breakers to start conversations on sensitive topics and to stop risky and inappropriate behaviours at school, parties, their homes, and on dates.

    To kick off the initiative, 4 television spots were broadcast showing teenage girls in common, but difficult, situations. For example, one spot features a boyfriend who won’t listen to a girl’s polite, but insistent, refusals to drink alcohol at a party. Not knowing what else to say, she draws a Red Card from her pocket, shakes her head with confident disapproval, says, “I told you three times I just want a soda; why won’t you listen to me?” and leaves.

    As the initial series of spots was airing, dozens of two-hour training sessions were held in schools and clubs and with sports teams so that girls could practice using Red Cards. Trainers asked the girls to explain Red Card to their parents once they got home. The intention was that this conversation might open the door to discussing sexual harassment, alcohol use, and other risky behaviours.

    During the project’s second phase, trainings took place throughout the country, directly reaching 30,000 teenage girls and sparking an exponential increase in the number of phone calls made to the national HIV/AIDS hotline – most of them asking for packs of 100 Red Cards. In addition, more than 2,000 Red Card clubs were formed, providing an opportunity for girls to talk about their experiences using the tool. In the words of organisers, “Red Cards…clearly give young women a way to be heard, even if they can’t find the right words.”

  2. Oh social marketing, how I love thee. Thank you, David! Stuff has just been vindicated.

    Regarding the campaign, I like that it included multiple, complimentary components. I also think it demonstrates how other countries have made the link between HIV and sexual violence/harassment. Not knowing much about Madagascar, I am curious about cultural influences that impacted this campaign.

  3. Hello!
    I am looking for some sample radio PSAs, around the topic of Engaging Bystanders. We would like to use these in conjunction with SAAM. Do you all know of any such PSAs that have received positive feedback, which we could access? Thanks so much!

Leave a Reply