1 Since 1998, the Scottish Government has been conducting yearly advertising campaigns to strengthen the view that domestic abuse is totally unacceptable, using the message Domestic Abuse: there's no excuse. The most recent advertising activity was launched on 26 th December 2007 and consisted of TV and radio adverts as well as billboard posters and public relations activity. This campaign focused on the effects of domestic abuse on children.
2. In 2008, as in each of the ten previous waves, research has been conducted by TNS System Three using the Scottish Opinion Survey to track awareness of the advertising and attitudes towards domestic abuse. Fieldwork took place after the advertising campaign, between 30 th January and 9 th February 2007 and 1,012 interviews were achieved in 42 constituencies throughout Scotland. This sample was representative of the adult population of Scotland both demographically and geographically. The survey was conducted using Computer Aided Personal Interviewing ( CAPI), allowing respondents to complete sensitive sections of the questionnaire confidentially on a self-completion basis.
3. The proportion of respondents who had had any experience of domestic abuse has remained stable over the last four waves at just under four out of ten (38% at Wave 11). This comprised people who had close friends or relatives who had been the victim of domestic abuse (34%), people who had personally been the victim of domestic abuse (13%) and those who had been responsible for domestic abuse (2%). Children were present in around two thirds (65%) of these cases of domestic abuse. Females, those within the DE social grades, and those aged 25-44 were most likely to have personally been victims of domestic abuse or have friends or family members who were victims of domestic abuse.
4. Respondents were asked to identify the age groups and social classes in which they thought domestic abuse happens most often. The number saying that domestic abuse is something that affects people from all age groups rose by 3% to 45% at the latest wave with small rises for each of the age groups, indicating a wider recognition of domestic abuse as ageless. Just over six in ten (61%) respondents felt that domestic abuse affects people from all social classes, which has remained stable over the last three waves. Domestic abuse continued to be perceived by a majority of respondents (88%) to be most prevalent amongst the working classes. However, overall, the trend is towards fewer people seeing any barriers in respect of age and class in the incidence of domestic abuse.
5. The proportion of people spontaneously aware of advertising or publicity about domestic abuse has been consistently high at more than seven in ten over the last four waves and was 72% at Wave 11.
6. Those who claimed to be aware of advertising and publicity about domestic abuse were asked where they had seen or heard this. Although television continued to be the main source of advertising recalled, the proportion of those citing this was 63% at Wave 11, only slightly higher than the 59% recorded at Wave 10. Levels of recall of programmes on TV, outdoor posters, radio and advertising in newspapers remained fairly consistent across the most recent waves.
7. Those who had seen advertising on the subject of domestic abuse on television were asked to describe what they had seen. More than half (58%) were able to describe at least one element of the Dolls House advert. Recall for the Teddies advert was much lower at 3%. However it is worth noting in this context that Dolls House was an established advert which has been run previously in 2002-04, whereas Teddies was a new, shorter advert only introduced in the latter part of the campaign this year
8. At Wave 11, both the TV adverts ( Dolls House and Teddies) and the radio adverts ( ABC and Nursery Rhyme) were played in full to respondents.
9. The level of TV reach - the percentage recognising either ad - was 83% - much higher than the levels recorded over the last four waves. This very high level of reach in conjunction with lower spontaneous campaign awareness indicates that the advert has been seen by most respondents but is not always front-of-mind. Again, more than half (58%) of those who had seen the adverts before thought that the advert sought to communicate the effects on children / family which was the main campaign message at Wave 11. Just under a fifth of respondents (18%) felt that the message was no excuse - zero tolerance, and 13% mentioned that help is available.
10. When played the radio adverts used in the latest campaign, 17% claimed to have heard ABC and 14% claimed to have heard Nursery Rhyme which in combination gives a total reach of 23% for radio advertising. This level of reach was much lower than was recorded over the last few waves, although it reflects a lower level of actual spend on radio advertising on this occasion.
11. Combining the reach figures for TV and radio gives a total reach for the campaign as a whole. At this wave the campaign achieved a total reach of 85%, which is six percentage points higher than achieved at Wave 10 and compares very favourably to other social campaigns monitored by TNS System Three. Within this, the TV adverts, and specifically the Dolls House advert were particularly strong.
12. The ongoing communications campaign focuses public attention on the issue of domestic abuse as unacceptable, therefore part of the evaluation of the campaign investigated respondents' attitudes to domestic abuse via a series of attitude statements. Findings indicate few significant changes in attitude over recent waves, and the public continued to agree that domestic abuse is unacceptable. As attitudes in relation to domestic abuse tend to be firmly held, this leads to little significant change year-on-year, although advertising does play a role in maintaining these beliefs. Indeed, those who were aware of the advertising campaign tended to give more positive answers to the attitude statements, compared to those who had not seen any advertising.
13. Although not significant, there appears to be a slight softening of opinion that domestic abuse of one partner by another is a common occurrence in Scotland, and if a woman experiences domestic abuse but stays with her partner, it's her own fault if she experiences further abuse in the future.
14. Although there was no significant difference in response between those who have seen/heard the advertising and those who have not, disagreement strengthened over time that domestic abuse between adults doesn't really affect children in the household - the main message of the current campaign.
15. Additional questions were added to the tracking questionnaire at Wave 9 to investigate perceptions of the public in relation to wider forms of violence against and exploitation of women.
16. The majority of respondents thought that pornography (62%) and prostitution (68%) were exploitative of women, and this appears to be on the increase.
17. More than four in five (83%) felt that pressuring a woman to take part in sexual activities if she says she doesn't want to was totally unacceptable and a further 12% that it was unacceptable. Whilst seven in ten (70%) said paying someone for sex was unacceptable, 19% were undecided, and 10% thought it was acceptable. Just over six in ten (63%) thought purchasing or viewing pornographic materials was unacceptable, with around a fifth (22%) undecided and 16% thinking it was acceptable. Findings indicate that each of these actions has become even less acceptable over time.
18. The majority of respondents felt very strongly that women were not responsible for rape in any circumstances, with 71% feeling that a woman was not at all responsible if she is flirting, 75% not at all responsible if she is drunk, 73% not at all responsible if she is dressed in revealing clothing and 85% not at all responsible if she is known to have had many sexual partners. In all cases, these levels have remained stable or risen slightly since the last wave.