A single street sign just became a major example of how society should approach domestic violence awareness. It's quite easy.
...instead of making battered women the focal point of the campaign.
As if men need reminders that women can be abused...
or we're akin to the sad puppies in Sarah McLachlan's ASPCA commercials.
The poster puts the focus on the abuser — as it should.
Telling women to leave an abusive relationship is often-used advice, but it puts the responsibility back on the victim. Telling a victim to look for warning signs or transforming a woman's face to look battered helps raise awareness, but fails to hold abusers accountable for their behavior.
Will a poster like this work? Yes. It might stop a man from being abusive, it will change the way people think about domestic violence, and prevent them from victim-blaming women who experience it.
The Atlantic cited a study published in "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin" that found language plays a big role in how people interpret who is at fault for a crime.
Laura Niemi, a postdoctoral associate in psychology at Harvard University, and Liane Young, a psychology professor at Boston College, showed participants two sentences with the subjects switched: "Lisa was approached by Dan at a party. Dan gave Lisa a drink spiked with Rohypnol. Later that night, Lisa was assaulted by Dan." and "Dan approached Lisa. Dan gave Lisa a drink spiked with Rohypnol. Later that night, Lisa was assaulted by Dan."
They found people were less likely to blame the victim when the sentence had the abuser performing the action, as opposed to the abused having had an action done to them.
"When the perpetrator was the subject of the sentence, participants' 'ratings of victim blame and victim responsibility went down significantly," Niemi told The Atlantic.