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Wednesday 25 November 2020

UCLan to lead study on global responses to domestic violence and abuse under Covid-19

Academics in the Connect Centre for International Research on Interpersonal Violence and Harm will study policy and practice responses in four countries

A new international study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of UK Research and Innovation's rapid response to Covid-19, will launch later this month to examine global responses to domestic violence and abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Domestic Abuse: Harnessing Learning internationally under Covid-19’ (DAHLIA-19) is led by Professor Nicky Stanley and colleagues in the Connect Centre for International Research on Interpersonal Violence and Harm at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The study will examine policy and practice responses in four countries: the UK, Australia, Ireland and South Africa.

Together with researchers at the University of Edinburgh, University of Melbourne, Trinity College Dublin and the University of the Witwatersrand, Professor Stanley and colleagues will collaborate with domestic violence organisations and policy actors in all four countries to collect and compare different initiatives and policies for all family members living with domestic violence and abuse.

Domestic abuse services and experts across the UK will be invited to contribute evidence and experience to the research which will produce briefings and feedback for providers and policy makers throughout the 14-month study. A final report will be available by January 2022.

Professor Stanley said: “The risks of living with domestic violence and abuse have increased under Covid-19 restrictions and support and services have become harder for victims and their families to access. A range of responses at policy and practice levels have emerged. These differ across the world and little is known as yet about their take-up and impact. This study will fill an important gap in our knowledge.”

Nicole Jacobs, the Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, welcomed this research and commented: “We know that victims of domestic abuse have faced much greater danger during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many have felt lost, isolated and fearful and unable to access help or support. It is essential that we learn lessons from the response worldwide now so that we can bring about positive change that will help victims in times of future crisis. Given the Connect Centre’s considerable experience in this area, I believe this study will make a real difference to many people globally.”