Research

The research team are responsible for providing the Commissioner with a robust evidence base that underpins her advice to national government and local decision makers. There are several research projects currently in the pipeline.

An early priority for our team is to map and monitor the provision of domestic abuse services in England and Wales, in order to shine a light on good practice as well as identify where improvements need to be made. This includes several ‘deep dive’ projects which will focus on the provision of specific types of services. Through these mapping projects the Commissioner will be able to identify gaps in provision, and make recommendations for how to improve provision and practice. This is our first step to addressing the ‘postcode lottery’ of domestic abuse services. 

The research team provide the Commissioner and her office with data and research briefings to inform our understanding of the scale and nature of domestic abuse. This includes the collation of data from a wide range of sources, such as the Office for National Statistics, the Crown and Prosecution Service, and frontline services. We also keep a close eye on research undertaken by both academia and sector organisations, and ensure this is effectively amplified to policy decision-makers.  

An ethical approach is integrated at the heart of all our research projects. This includes working with our sector and survivor advisory groups (once recruited) to develop our research methods, and inform our work. Our team abide by Government Social Research ethical principles, and also apply the domestic abuse specific Research Integrity Framework. The framework was written by the four Women’s Aid federations from Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland in partnership with academic researchers.

Domestic abuse services – pilot

Mapping services

Delivery partner: NatCen

Timings: TBC

Testing an approach to mapping domestic abuse services through surveying providers directly. We are piloting this approach four local authority areas (Blackpool, Devon, Southwark, and Warwickshire). The survey will capture information such as the service provided, referrals and caseload, and how services are funded and resourced.
We will also be surveying domestic abuse survivors and victims regarding their experience of accessing, or trying to access, services in these pilot areas.

Domestic abuse services – national rollout

Mapping services

Delivery partner: TBC

Timings: TBC

We plan to learn from the pilot, and other ‘deep dive’ national mapping projects being published in Spring, to inform our approach for national rollout later this year.

Domestic abuse services – national rollout

Mapping services

Delivery partner: In-house

Timings: TBC

Our office would like to learn more about the full range of interventions which seek to change the behaviour of those who perpetrate domestic abuse. We are surveying providers of interventions across England and Wales to understand areas such as the design and delivery of these interventions and their main referral pathways.
We will also be surveying commissioners regarding their plans for, and key barriers to, commissioning perpetrator interventions.

Support and advocacy in criminal and family courts

Mapping services

Delivery partner: SafeLives

Timings: Spring/Summer publication

This mapping exercise aims to understand the provision, nature and current capacity of these services, as well as their capacity to manage any future surge in demand, including any plans in place to manage court backlogs resulting from Covid-19 restrictions.

Services for LGBT+ survivors

Mapping services

Delivery partner: TBC

Timings: TBC

Mapping the provision of specialist support for LGBT+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse, and the extent to which this is ‘by and for’ LGBT+ people.

Services for Deaf and disabled survivors

Mapping services

Delivery partner: TBC

Timings: TBC

Mapping the provision of specialist support for Deaf and disabled victims and survivors of domestic abuse, and the extent to which this is ‘by and for’ Deaf and disabled people.

Adolescent to Parental Violence literature review

Other projects

Delivery partner: Respect

Timings: TBC

To better understand the issue of ‘Adolescent to Parent Violence’ (APV) through a literature review, and identify gaps in understanding and evidence.

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