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Hang up on stereotypes: domestic violence and anti-abuse helpline campaign

We estimate the consequences of a government-led anti-domestic-abuse campaign launched in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic on the number of calls to the italian domestic violence helpline. In the week after the start of the campaign, we document a two-fold increase in the number of calls, which keep increasing throughout the lock-down. There is no evidence that this surge in the number of calls is associated with past levels of violence. Rather, we show that the effectiveness of the media campaign is hindered in areas where gender stereotypes are stronger, even when economic factors are accounted for. Policy-makers should then intensify efforts to break down gender stereotypes to successfully increase domestic violence reporting.

Lead investigator:

Marco Colagrossi


European Commission

Primary topic:

Crime & policing

Secondary topic:

Families & households

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:

From private company

Unit of real-time data collection




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