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VISION responds to Parliamentary, government & non-government consultations

Consultation, evidence and inquiry submissions are an important part of our work at VISION. Responding to Parliamentary, government and non-government organisation consultations ensures that a wide range of opinions and voices are factored into the policy decision making process. As our interdisciplinary research addresses violence and how it cuts across health, crime and justice and the life course, we think it is important to take the time to answer any relevant call and to share our insight and findings to support improved policy and practice. We respond as VISION, the Violence & Society Centre, and sometimes in collaboration with others. Below are the links to our published responses and evidence from June 2022.

  1. UK Parliament – Women and Equalities Committee – Inquiry: The rights of older people. Our submission was published in November 2023
  2. UK Parliament  – Women and Equalities Committee – Inquiry: The impact of the rising cost of living on women. Our submission was published in November 2023
  3. UK Parliament – Women and Equalities Committee – Inquiry: The escalation of violence against women and girls. Our submission published in September 2023
  4. Home Office – Legislation consultation: Machetes and other bladed articles: proposed legislation (submitted response 06/06/2023). Government response to consultation and summary of public responses was published in August 2023
  5. Welsh Government – Consultation: National action plan to prevent the abuse of older people. Summary of the responses published in April 2023
  6. Race Disparity Unit (RDU) – Consultation: Standards for Ethnicity Data (submitted response 30/08/2022). Following the consultation, a revised version of the data standards was published in April 2023
  7. UK Parliament – The Home Affairs Committee – Call for evidence: Human Trafficking. Our submission was published in March 2023
  8. UN expert – Call for evidence: Violence, abuse and neglect in older people. Our submission was published in February 2023
  9. UK Parliament – The Justice and Home Affairs Committee – Inquiry: Family migration. Our submission was published in September 2022 and a report was published following the inquiry in February 2023
  10. Home Office – Consultation: Controlling or Coercive behaviour Statutory Guidance. Our submission was published in June 2022

For further information, please contact us at VISION_Management_Team@city.ac.uk

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Mental health in the workplace: how employers should respond to domestic violence

VISION member Sally McManus will be talking at a Westminster Insight event on Supporting Women’s Health in the Workplace on 20 March 2024.

Sally will use a life-course approach to understanding women’s mental health and wellbeing at work, including the impact of the psychosocial working environment, bullying and harassment at work, and what support and signposting employers can offer in relation to domestic violence.

For further information, please contact Sally at sally.mcmanus@city.ac.uk

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Call for proposals now closed: Adolescent domestic abuse

The call for proposals for the Adolescent Domestic Abuse conference on 18 April 2024, is now closed.

The event is free to attend, and registration will open in early 2024. For any questions or comments about the upcoming conference in the meantime, please contact Ruth Weir at ruth.weir@city.ac.uk or VISION_Management_Team@city.ac.uk.

We invited proposals for conference presentations and welcome applications from researchers, academics, practitioners, and policy makers. 

Adolescent domestic abuse, which includes physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse that occurs between young people who are, or were, dating, is often overlooked in research, policy and practice. The current definition of domestic abuse leaves those in teenage relationships falling into the gap between child protection procedures and adult-focused domestic abuse policy (Barrow-Grint et al, 2022).    

The Crime Survey for England and Wales finds that women aged 16 to 19 are more likely to experience domestic abuse than any other age group (ONS, 2020), but despite the prevalence, women in this age group are less likely to be referred to support services (SafeLives, 2017). The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 brought in new legislation that saw children who live in a home where domestic abuse takes place recognised for the first time as victims in their own right. The Act also lowered the minimum age for a person to be classified as a victim of domestic abuse from 18 to 16 years.

However, research from SafeLives found that, on average, experiencing abusive behaviour from a partner begins at age 14 or 15, leaving a gap in recognition and support for those under the age of 16 (SafeLives, 2017).  Research among those aged 11-16 in Wales found a range of mental health and social impacts associated with experiencing domestic abuse, including teenage pregnancy, self-harm and violent behaviour (Young et al, 2021). 

These challenges are echoed by those trying to police domestic abuse, with the Assistant Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police questioning whether the age at which domestic abuse is recognised in law and practice for victims and perpetrators should be lowered to 13.

We acknowledge this is a complex and contested question that needs significant research and nuanced consideration from many angles. For example, consideration of intersectional issues such as the criminalisation of young people and the lack of alternatives to custody currently available to those who use harmful or abusive behaviours, as well as issues pertaining to cultural backgrounds. 

Proposals for single presentations on topics relating to adolescent domestic abuse were encouraged to include – but not limited to – the following topics:  

• Empirical evidence on victimisation and/or perpetration of adolescent domestic abuse 

• Evidence on different approaches, theories or practices in response to adolescent domestic abuse  

• Policy or practice initiatives, developments or frameworks (including legal) regarding adolescent domestic abuse

The conference is organised and hosted by the following:

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Dr Annie Bunce receives award at Lancet Public Health Science conference

Dr Annie Bunce

Dr Annie Bunce, VISION Research Fellow, was awarded Best Oral Presentation at the Lancet Public Health Science conference in London this November. She presented on the Prevalence, nature and associations of workplace bullying and harassment with mental health conditions in England: a cross-sectional probability sample survey.

Annie’s research, conducted with VISION colleagues Ladan Hashemi, Sally McManus, and others, presents the first nationally representative findings on the prevalence of workplace bullying and harassment in England for over a decade. Annie analysed data from the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) to demonstrate: the prevalence of workplace bullying and harassment (WBH) in the working population in England; the nature of WBH experienced, who it was perpetrated by and the types of behaviour it involved; and associations between the experience of WBH and indicators of adverse mental health.

The study is unique in that the APMS makes robust assessments of mental health – operationalising diagnostic criteria – which provides an accurate assessment of clinical need. Implications for employers, policymakers, health services and researchers are outlined.

For the article, please see: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(23)02066-4/fulltext

Please contact Annie at annie.bunce@city.ac.uk for further information.

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VISION Research Fellow chaired European Public Health Association conference symposium

Dr Anastasia Fadeeva

We’re delighted that one of VISION’s core researchers, Dr Anastasia Fadeeva, chaired a symposium at the upcoming European Public Health Association (EUPHA) conference in November in Dublin.

The workshop, Responding to violence and abuse across the life-course, presented a range of analyses – drawing on data from New Zealand, Germany and the UK – that addressed the ways in which violence and abuse manifest at different life stages, including in childhood, among working-age adults, and in later life.

The presentations highlighted differences across the life course, as well as commonalities. They demonstrated the long-term, even life long, shadow that violence and abuse can cast over people’s health, and provided evidence of the extensive costs for society. Health impacts were shown to be broad, not only anxiety and depression, but substance dependence, chronic physical health conditions, and related health risks such as obesity.

This symposium comprised four presentations that each considered violence and abuse prevalent at a particular stage of life, and provided evidence to inform the sensitive tailoring of responses from and for families, schools, health and social services, workplace human resource employees, and care and residential homes. 

For further information on the conference, please see: 16th European Public Health Conference (ephconference.eu)

Or contact Anastasia at anastasia.fadeeva@city.ac.uk

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New partnership between VISION and the Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network

We are pleased to announce a new, one-year partnership with the Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network (VAMHN).

VAMHN is a network of individuals and organisations aiming to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems by addressing associated violence and abuse, particularly domestic and sexual violence.

The interdisciplinary cross-sector network brings together and supports research by experts from a range of disciplines, sectors, and backgrounds – some with lived experience, others with expertise from the work that they do, and survivor researchers with both.

VAMHN’s work aligns with our own goals of improving measurement of violence and better use of data to prevent and mitigate the harm that violence causes to health and wellbeing.

VAMHN has done sterling work engaging with survivors of violence in co-producing research and creating a Lived Experience (LE) Advisory Group. They will support VISION as we build and expand on LE engagement across our project.

For further information on VAMHN, please see: The Violence, Abuse, and Mental Health Network

Or contact us at VISION_Management_Team@city.ac.uk

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Podcast on police and domestic violence publication

Hear VISION Senior Research Fellow, Ruth Weir, in conversation with Jackie Turton, University of Essex, as they discuss their recent publication, Policing Domestic Violence: Risk, Policy, and Practice, with Jules Pretty of The Louder than Words podcast series.

Ruth and Jackie collaborated with two serving police officers, Kate Barrow-Grint and Jacqueline Sebire, to write a book that improves police force understanding of the dynamics of how domestic abuse occurs, how best to respond to and investigate it, and, in the longer term, how to prevent it. 

It is a unique collaboration of real-life policing experience blended with the latest academic research and best practice to update some of the theoretical analysis and to highlight areas of good practice like what works and why.

To listen to the podcast please see: The Louder than Words podcast

Or contact Ruth at ruth.weir@city.ac.uk

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Half of unemployed women have experienced intimate partner violence

This analysis forms part of a new briefing co-produced with Agenda Alliance. Agenda Alliance exists to make a difference to the lives of women and girls who are at the sharpest end of inequality. They are an alliance of over 100 member organisations – from large, national bodies to smaller, specialist organisations – working in collaboration to influence public policy and practice to respond appropriately to women and girls with multiple, complex unmet needs: https://www.agendaalliance.org/  

The briefing casts light on a crucial but neglected topic, showing that when a woman presents to services in suicidal distress it is likely that she’s a victim of domestic abuse, and that likelihood rises for people living in poverty, especially those who are unemployed or unable to work due to sickness or disability. Professionals working in Jobcentres, housing associations and other welfare services have frequent contact with women facing financial stress and debt. It’s vital that welfare professionals, as well as those working in health and social care, recognise the very high rates of domestic abuse experienced by such women, and are aware of the extent to which their distress can manifest in self-harm and suicidality. They should be trained to ask people if they are safe and supported to act accordingly.

Please see Underexamined and Underreported Briefing (agendaalliance.org) for further information.

This report was co-produced in collaboration with the generous input of many experts from across multiple sectors, people with lived experience, and with: