12th November 2018

Researchers from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) have received funding from EU Horizon 2020 to support research into how institutions, including the police and social work, respond to domestic abuse.

SCCJR will work in partnership with Police Scotland to carry out the Scottish strand of the €2.9 million IMPRODOVA project, a three-year study which will see Prof Michele Burman and Dr Oona Brooks-Hay conduct extensive fieldwork across the country.

Scotland will join Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Portugal, Hungary and Slovenia in what researchers have described as one of the most significant contributions to our understanding of domestic abuse to date.

According to the World Health Organization less than 10% of victims of domestic abuse seek help from the police and domestic abuse continues to be an enduring problem internationally.
The findings are hoped to improve and integrate the responses of police, social work and non-governmental organisations and other frontline responders to aid increased reporting of domestic abuse.

Michele Burman, Professor of Criminology, based at the University of Glasgow, welcomed the new funding.

“We are delighted to join such a large consortium of European researchers to research such an important issue. With around 58,000 incidences of domestic abuse reported to Police Scotland every year we know that domestic abuse affects many people and causes considerable harm. It is therefore essential that victim-survivors have confidence in those services providing assistance to them.”
Dr Oona Brooks-Hay, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Glasgow, said: “We plan to document police, social work, health and non-governmental organisation responses to domestic abuse and identify positive examples of best practice across Europe.

“The findings will help us produce a series of recommendations as well as new toolkits and training opportunities for frontline staff which we hope will encourage improved responses to those who have been affected by domestic abuse.”

Detective Superintendent Gordon McCreadie who leads Police Scotland’s response to Domestic Abuse, said: “Police Scotland remains committed to reducing the harm caused by domestic abuse. Improving our understanding of this complex area is key and we recognise the importance of collaboration to help inform how we can further enhance our response. Our 10 year strategy for Policing in Scotland identifies the importance of sharing knowledge and participation in studies such as this will support further learning and identify possible improvements to the service we provide.”

Research will be conducted over three years with a final report published in 2021.

Press Contact:
Rachelle Cobain, Communications Officer
Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research
0141 330 1834
077525 88406

Notes to Editors:

1. The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, headquartered at the University of Glasgow, is a collaboration of several Scottish universities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and Strathclyde) that aims to produce research and develop researchers so as to better the development of policy, practice and public debate about crime and justice.
2. Statistics on Violence Against Women are available here
3. Domestic Abuse Recorded by Police Scotland in 2016-2017 is available here.
4. IMPRODOVA will explore what is known and what is actually done in policing domestic violence, but will also include the aspect of police co-operation with other first responders. Key questions for IMPRODOVA are why, in practical police work, is domestic violence often regarded as a low priority problem? Why is the reporting rate by victims low? What are the human factors that define effective response and best practice police work in networks of other first line responders, e.g. health practitioners, schools, and youth services? See here for more information.
5. IMPRODOVA has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 787054.
6. Whilst IMPRODOVA identifies high impact domestic violence (HIDV) as the focus of the study, from a Scottish perspective no form of domestic abuse is acceptable and therefore the Scottish research will encompass responses to domestic abuse using the nationally agreed definition: http://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/advice-for-victims-of-crime/domestic-abuse/what-is-domestic-abuse/
7. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. It is the largest ever EU Research and Innovation programme. For more information please click here.

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