Boys to men project

Dave GaddProfessor David Gadd from the University’s School of Social Sciences has 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.

Dave’s research project ‘From Boys to Men’ set out to explore why some boys become domestic abuse perpetrators and what more can be done to prevent it.  The ground-breaking research findings led to a number of significant interventions at a local and national level.  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.

Professor Gadd, explaied: “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.  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.”

The findings also contributed to Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority’s (GMCA) 10-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.

 “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.