Kim and Muralidharan


  • Narrative messages are more effective than nonnarrative messages.
  • Empathy-laden narrative messages produce more positive public service announcement evaluations and stronger intentions to call the helpline.
  • The positive effect of narratives on empathy is enhanced when participants’ issue involvement is high.
  • Empathy is not enough, however, so it is crucial for bystanders to possess self-efficacy—prosocial beliefs that denounce domestic violence and drive bystanders’ capability to help abused individuals.


Domestic violence does not discriminate. With reinforcement from social and cultural norms, it has an uncanny ability to feed off a perpetrator’s most basic desire for control and power. Women are the primary victims of abuse, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.), the consequences can manifest in physical (e.g., broken bones), reproductive (e.g., unintended pregnancy), psychological (e.g., depression), and social (e.g., isolation from social networks) consequences.