System Design for Domestic Violence

Design Challenge: How might we design a system to decrease domestic violence against women?

Psychology Today recently reported that domestic violence against women is fueled by a man’s desire to control the woman:

“One [factor] involves a destructive thought process (or “critical inner voice”) that abusers experience both toward themselves and their partners, thoughts like “You’re not a man if you don’t control her” or “She is making a fool out of you.”

In order to change this thought process and the system of domestic violence against women, this design attempts to change the idea of what makes men “real men.”


The design focuses on two¬†critical points in a man’s life:

  1. Youth
  2. Marriage

It also utilizes two methods of influence:

  1. Social Influence
  2. Enforcement Influence

By using multiple types of influence in line with behavioral design principles of identity, timeliness, social norms, ownership, and advance commitments, small communities can start changing the culture of what makes a man a “real man.”

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Image by Leah Lockhart via Flickr

Image via Wikipedia

Psychology Today article

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