Abstract for:Seeing is Believing is Doing How to effectively reduce violence against women using modeling and simulation technologies

Violence against women (VAW) is a profound societal problem in many underdeveloped countries, and its causes are as many as the solutions are few. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate how modeling and simulation technologies can aid in the understanding of complex societal systems, identify the root causes of problems (such as VAW), and suggest possible solutions for improvement. This can occur at three stages of simulation model building: First, at the model conceptualization stage, we have used a group model building approach, which allows direct involvement from domain experts as well as victims of violence, thus providing an agreed upon understanding of the problem. Second, at the design and testing stage, we will invite a smaller number of experts to engage in building and testing of the model(s) with different scenarios in an iterative manner. Third, at the deployment stage, we plan to make the finished model(s) available to public planners and decision makers throughout the society, in the hope that using the model(s) will lead to critical discussion, reflection and learning.