University of Bristol: New multi-million-pound research consortium will provide world-leading data on violence and aims to reduce harms caused by violence

Funded with a £7 million UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) grant, the five-year (2021 to 2026) data analysis ‘Violence, Health and Society’ project is one of three major research projects UKPRP launched this week, with the common aim of understanding and influencing social, economic and environmental factors that affect health.

Findings from the consortium’s research programme, led by Professor Sylvia Walby OBE, Director of the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London, with the collaboration of researchers from the University of Bristol’s Domestic Violence and Health Research Group will be used to improve the data that underpins theory, policy and professional practice. It will also improve research on the effectiveness of interventions to reduce violence and associated harms to health and health inequalities

Comprising academics at King’s College London, University College London, Lancaster University, University of Bristol and the University of Warwick, consortium members will work with providers of data in public services (including the 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. The consortium will have a 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.

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.”

Professor Gene Feder, from the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol and a senior co-investigator in the Consortium, said: “Our ability to evaluate programmes to reduce violence and improve outcomes for survivors of violence requires robust data.

“Our domestic violence and health research group appreciates being part of this innovative inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral consortium.

“Our focus is specifically on health data, but we recognise that the impact of violence is society-wide and that each sector has developed different measures which need harmonising. We look forward to contributing to this ground-breaking endeavour.”

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