Scotland to form part of major European study into institutional responses to domestic abuse

Published: 30 October 2018

University of Glasgow's Professor Michele Burman and Dr Oona Brooks-Hay will led the Scottish strand.

European study into institutional responses to domestic abuse involving SCCJR. Size 650. Woman reflecting over lake.

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 Professor 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.

Professor Michele Burman, Professor of Criminology, based at the University of Glasgow, welcomed the new funding and said: “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.

First published: 30 October 2018

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