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Changing Attitudes Towards Dating Violence in Adolescents (CAVA)


European Commission DG Justice Daphne III Transnational Action Grant




Serious Games Institute, UK; University West, Sweden; Friedrich Alexander University's Innovation and Learning Institute, Erlangen, Germany; Catholic University College Limbourg, Belgium.

Project objectives

CAVA is a part financed EU DAPHNE III project that focused on Changing Attitudes to Dating Violence in Adolescents through the use of an immersive and engaging video game (as the central learning object), designed to appeal to young people.  The project started in February 2011 and ended in February 2013. The video game is considered the first of its kind in Europe according to research by the Serious Games Institute in the UK (part of Coventry University).

Impact statement

The CAVA project has delivered impact by increasing the awareness and initiated a debate among EU directorate, teachers, parents, adolescents and practitioners about how to address the issue. In addition, the development of a research-based serious game has provided a novel intervention for teachers and curriculum authorities.

Nature of the Impact and Evidence:

The ‘Changing Attitudes to dating Violence in Adolescents’ project has raised awareness of adolescent dating violence and the potential application of serious games for prevention at eight international practitioner events in March, April, September and November 2012, January 2013 and July 2013 with a combined audience of 700 social work, psychology and education practitioners and EU policy makers. Two UK events were held in June 2012 with delegates attending who represented education and community safety organisations. In Sweden considerable media attention was drawn to the project in October 2012 with the project featuring in a 30-minute prime time national news item.  In 2013 the game was integrated within a cross-curriculum information technology platform which is being used by all schools within Belgium.  The project has raised awareness in teachers, practitioners and children, and wider society in the UK and Europe and has been commended by Ms Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women at a meeting held in Brussels on June 21st 2011, due to its focus on prevention rather than intervention after violence has occurred.  In addition, Mr Sergej Kopadek, advisor to DG Education in the EU, praised the project for raising awareness of the issue as well as adopting a highly innovative technological solution to primary intervention at a meeting held in Brussels on January 30th 2013. At the same meeting Ms Collette Dutroy, Director of the EU Observatory on Violence Against Women, also supported the project and particularly its emphasis on prevention which is viewed as of utmost importance in combating violence in relationships.

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