One hundred researchers, practitioners and policy makers have come together to hear about the latest work being done to tackle violence against women and girls at an event held at the University of Leeds today.
29 June 2023
Organised by the Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre, the event featured talks from Nicole Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, and nine projects where researchers are working with the police and partner organisations to address violence against women and girls.
All nine projects are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and examine issues such as stalking, creating safer parks and public places, and strengthening partnerships between local organisations.
Other talks explored how to improve responses to sexual abuse offences against Black and minoritised women, and how schools and the police can work together to prevent harmful sexual behaviour in schools.
A new interactive training tool for child protection professionals was previewed at the event. The tool, developed by the Centre for Child Protection and Kent Police, encourages professionals working with girls who have experience of child sexual exploitation to take a trauma-informed approach. A trauma-informed approach aims to increase practitioners’ awareness of how trauma can negatively impact on individuals and communities, and their ability to feel safe or develop trusting relationships with health and care services and their staff.
“It is crucial that we get this right”
Nicole Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, said: “I am delighted to be a part of this event addressing the important role that research plays in building an evidence base around domestic abuse and violence against women and girls. I strongly believe that establishing robust datasets and striving for joined-up working will hugely improve our understanding of, and response to, the needs of victims and survivors. The police are often the first port of call for those affected by domestic abuse, and they must exercise their duty of care with the utmost professionalism. It is crucial that we get this right.”
Professor Adam Crawford, Co-Director of the Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre, said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is one of the major challenges for police and partner organisations across the country. The National Police Chiefs’ Council recently issued its first National Strategic Threat Risk Assessment of violence against women and girls, placing such offences on the same footing as terrorism and serious organised crime.
“In order for constabularies to best respond to this issue and to understand their role within a wider system of public safety, they need to be working in partnership with local civil society organisations and exploring the latest evidence in this field. It was therefore fantastic to have such a wonderful range of speakers talking about new initiatives and sharing latest research findings in this crucial area of work.”
ESRC Executive Chair Stian Westlake said: “This research will play an important role in tackling violence against women and girls. It will improve the lives of people affected by violence and provide valuable support and evidence for public service staff. The work of the Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre provides a great example of the real-world benefits of investment in social science.”
- Research showcase: tackling violence against women and girls
- Find out more about the ESRC’s funding call ‘Partner with the police to tackle violence against women and girls‘