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Research report

Feasibility study into the possible inclusion of social norms measures within the 2021 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS)

This report summarises the literature to inform the feasibility of including social norms measures in the next National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS).

The NCAS is a population-based survey of Australians’ knowledge and attitudes regarding violence against women, gender equality and intention to act as positive bystanders.

The purpose of the project was to determine whether it would be feasible and useful to include social norms measures in the 2021 NCAS questionnaire.

The project:

  • conducted a review of the conceptual and empirical literature on social norms measures with a particular focus on studies that address violence against women and gender equality, particularly population-level survey research;
  • provides an assessment of the feasibility of including a measure of social norms in the 2021 NCAS;
  • documents existing social norms measures that could be used or adapted for use in the NCAS and identifies what additional work would be needed to do so.

The report recommends that a social norms measure specific to the Australian context is developed as a long-term goal, but is beyond the scope and resources of the 2021 NCAS.

This material was produced with funding from the ANROWS Research Fund to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (The ANROWS Public Fund). ANROWS gratefully acknowledges the generous donation and other support it has received from Emeritus Professor Anne R. Edwards AO, without which this work would not have been possible. The findings and views reported in this paper are those of the authors and cannot be attributed to the funder.


Publication details

This work is part of the ANROWS Research reports series. ANROWS Research reports (Horizons) are in-depth reports on empirical research produced under ANROWS’s research program.


RMIT University

RMIT University


ISBN: 978-1-925925-27-2 (print) | 978-1-925925-28-9 (online)

44 pp.


Suggested citation

McCook, S., & Powell, A. (2020). Feasibility study into the possible inclusion of social norms measures within the 2021 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) (Research report, 02/2020). Sydney, NSW: ANROWS

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