Interpersonal violence, which can include various forms of domestic and sexual violence and abuse (DSVA) is a leading cause of death, particularly among young adults. In the UK, specialist DSVA services provide much-needed support to victim-survivors of these types of violence, and some provide support for perpetrators to change their behaviour. To monitor and support their work, specialist services collect data on violence. This data has the potential to improve understanding of violence but presents unique challenges.
In this review, VISION researchers Dr Annie Bunce, Dr Sophie Carlisle and Dr Estela Capelas Barbosa describe and discuss some of the key challenges facing the data collected by specialist services.
Inconsistencies in data collection arise due to the differing remits and priorities of specialist services, which mean violence and abuse are defined and measured in slightly different ways by these organisations. Particularly, the review highlights the significant variation in outcomes and outcome measurement tools used to evidence the effectiveness of services and interventions.
Specialist support services collect valuable data on many and multiple types of violence, the wide impacts of violence on victim-survivors’ lives, and information about perpetrators. As the data are not collected for research purposes, a considerable amount of work is often required to make the data suitable for statistical analysis. Critically, the piecemeal and insecure funding of specialist services limits their capacity to collect and analyse data.
Together these issues make it challenging to collate data from specialist services and use it to inform measurements of violence.
The researchers recommend the development of a core outcomes framework, exploration of methods for linking specialist services data with other sources of administrative data on violence, and sustainable funding for third sector specialist support services.
For further information please see: Social Sciences | Free Full-Text | The Concept and Measurement of Interpersonal Violence in Specialist Services Data: Inconsistencies, Outcomes and the Challenges of Synthesising Evidence (mdpi.com)
Or contact Dr Annie Bunce at firstname.lastname@example.org