Lancaster University: Lancaster University part of major research consortium on violence, health and society

Led by City, University of London, the ‘Violence, Health and Society’ project is funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP).

UKPRP is a group of 12 funders including UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) councils, charities, and health and social care departments of the four UK nations.

It is administered by the Medical Research Council (MRC) – one of the seven councils that make up UKRI – on behalf of the Partnership’s funding partners.

The five-year project is one of three major research projects UKPRP is launching today, with the common aim of understanding and influencing social, economic and environmental factors affecting health.

‘Violence, Health and Society’ brings together a Consortium of public bodies, universities and third sector organisations and aims to reduce the harms to health caused by violence by improving the data that underpins theory, policy and professional practice.

Led by Professor Sylvia Walby OBE, Director of the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London, and formerly of Lancaster University, the Consortium has academic partners in King’s College London, University College London, Lancaster University, University of Bristol and University of Warwick.

At Lancaster University the team will include Professor of Statistics Brian Francis and Lecturer in Law Dr Leslie Humphreys.

The Consortium will work closely with providers of data in public services (including police, justice and health professionals), third sector specialised services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and national surveys, including the Crime Survey for England & Wales, Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, and the UK Household Longitudinal Study. It will use advanced computing techniques to code information and integrate these different sources.

The Consortium will investigate the effectiveness of interventions to reduce violence and, thus, reduce harms to health and health inequalities.

It has special interest in domestic and sexual violence because these are significant causes of inequalities in mental health, which have been relatively neglected in the scientific and statistical evidence base in the study of violence.

The Consortium will address how to mainstream these issues across multiple sectors rather than seeing them as only of specialised concern.

It will support users to develop their data architecture and procedures to improve the useability of data, offering immediate impact.

Improving the data will also enhance the capacity of users to engage in evidence-based public and policy discussions concerning public expenditure.

Professor Walby said: “This Consortium has the goal of reducing the violence that wrecks lives by improving data.

“Many organisations share the same goal of reducing violence, but cooperation can be hindered by differences in the way that violence is measured.

“Our contribution lies in improving the data on violence, making translations between different ways of conceptualising violence, and building shared forms of measurement of violence, in order to build better explanations and, hence, more effective interventions.

“We are honoured to be trusted with their data by so many professionals and practitioners that provide services to reduce violence. We intend to fulfil that trust by constructing the best dataset ever on violence.

“The explicit purpose of our research is to reduce violence, and thus to reduce harms to health and health inequalities.”

This work is supported by the UK Prevention Research Partnership, which is funded by the British Heart Foundation, Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Health and Social Care Research and Development Division (Welsh Government), Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, Natural Environment Research Council, Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), The Health Foundation and Wellcome.

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