Don't Respond to Strangers: How a Groundbreaking Television Drama Serial Helped to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence in China
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Don’t Respond to Strangers is the first and to date the only television drama serial that featured the issue of domestic violence in China. Given its clear prosocial purpose to address this prevalent yet taboo topic, we used entertainment-education as an overarching framework and the protection motivation theory as our conceptual foundation to examine this program through three empirical studies. Study 1 was a qualitative content analysis of the entertainment program and found scenes that reflected all six key factors of the protection motivation theory (i.e., perceived severity, perceived vulnerability, perceived reward, response efficacy, self-efficacy, and response cost). Study 2 was a quantitative content analysis of the viewer comments posted on Douban online forum and the audience response was overwhelmingly focused on the perceived severity of domestic violence in China, especially the feeling of fear. Study 3 was an online survey with 326 Chinese nationals to test how the threat and coping appraisal mechanisms influenced the relationships between program exposure and three behavioral intention outcomes (victim coping, bystander intervention, and policy support). Across all three path models, program exposure was significantly associated with perceived severity and perceived reward; perceived severity and self-efficacy were significant predictors of victim’s coping intention and policy support; and response efficacy and self-efficacy were significant predictors of bystander intervening intention.