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VISION/VASC Webinar Series: IPV and the LGBTQI+ communities

We are pleased to announce the VISION and Violence & Society Centre (VASC) Webinar Series.

The purpose of the series is to provide a platform for academia, government and the voluntary and community sector that work to reduce and prevent violence to present their work / research to a wider audience. This is a multidisciplinary platform and we welcome speakers from across a variety of fields such as health, crime, policing, ethnicity, migration, sociology, social work, primary care, front line services, etc.

Our first webinar is Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 1300 – 1350. We welcome Dr Steven Maxwell, Research Associate in the School of Social & Environmental Sustainability and Associate in the School of Health and Wellbeing, at the University of Glasgow.

Steven will present his research on intimate partner violence within the LGBTQI+ communities. He is a former mental health nurse and completed his PhD in Global Public Health at University College London in 2021. Steven’s PhD explored HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake/adherence among men who have sex with men who engaged in sexualised drug use. His current interest is researching health inequities/social justices across minority and deprived populations, particularly sexual & mental health, and related substance use.   

To register for the event in order to receive the Teams invitation and / or if interested in presenting at a future Series, please contact: VISION_Management_Team@city.ac.uk

The VISION/VASC Webinar Series is sponsored by the UK Prevention and Research Partnership consortium, Violence, Health and Society (MR-V049879) and the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London.

Upcoming conference: Adolescent domestic abuse

***REGISTRATION BACK ON! Due to popular demand, we’ve changed the venue to support an increase in the number of attendees. The conference is now in the Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre (C101), in the Tait Building, at City. To register please see: VISION and VASC Adolescent Domestic Abuse conference ***

The UK Prevention Research Partnership Violence, Health & Society (VISION) consortium and the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London, are pleased to announce the Adolescent Domestic Abuse conference.

Thursday 18th April 2024, 10:00 – 17:00 followed by a reception 
Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre (Tait Bldg), City, University of London, EC1B 0HB 

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 aged under 16 in teenage relationships falling into the gap between child protection procedures and adult-focused domestic abuse policy. 

The conference brings together academics, practitioners, and policy makers to share existing research, policy and practice.

The programme: 

  • 9:30 – 10:00 Registration & refreshments 
  • 10:00 – 10:15 Welcome & setting the scene, Dr Ruth Weir, Violence and Society Centre, City, University of London and Katy Barrow-Grint, Assistant Chief Constable, Thames Valley Police
  • 10:15 – 10:45 Introductory Speakers, Louisa Rolfe OBE, Metropolitan Police and National Police Chief Council lead for Domestic Abuse and further speaker/s to be confirmed
  • 10:45 – 11:00 Rapid evidence review on domestic abuse in teenage relationships, Flavia Lamarre, City, University of London
  • 11:00 – 11:30 Learning from the lived experience, SafeLives Changemakers
  • 11:30 – 12:00 Researching abuse within teenage relationships: A critique of a decade’s work and what we could do better, Professor Christine Barter, Co-Director of the Connect Centre for International Research on Interpersonal Violence and Harm, University of Central Lancashire 
  • 12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
  • 13:00 – 14:00 Panel 1: Teenage relationships and abuse: What the research says
  • Panel 1: Step up, Speak Out: Amplifying young people’s voices in understanding and responding to adolescent domestic abuse, Janelle Rabe, Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse, Durham University
  • Panel 1: In practice it can be so much harder’: Young people’s approaches and experiences of supporting friends experiencing domestic abuse, Jen Daw (Senior Research Analyst) and Sally Steadman South (Senior Innovation Lead – Safe Young Lives Programme Lead)
  • Panel 1: Intimate partner femicide against young women, Dr Shilan Caman, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • 14:00 – 14:15 Break
  • 14:15 – 15:15 Panel 2: Sexual violence in teenage relationships
  • Panel 2: “Always the rule that you can’t say no”: Adolescent women’s experiences of sexual violence in dating relationships, Dr Kirsty McGregor, University of Brighton 
  • Panel 2: Empowering Youth: Addressing Online Pornography and Adolescent Domestic Abuse – Insights from the CONSENT Project, Berta Vall, Elena Lloberas and Jaume Grané, Blanquerna, Barcelona, Spain and The European Network for work with perpetrators of Domestic Violence, Berlin, Germany
  • Panel 2: Image-Based Sexual Abuse as a Facet of Domestic Abuse in Young People’s Relationships, Dr Alishya Dhir, Durham University
  • 15:15 – 15:30 Break
  • 15:30 – 16:50 Panel 3: Specialist services and local government
  • Panel 3: The role and value of Early Intervention Workers in supporting children and young people aged 11–18 in a domestic abuse service context, Elaha Walizadeh, Children’s Programme Lead and Michaela Bruckmayer, Research Lead, Refuge 
  • Panel 3: Presentation from specialist service provider (TBC)
  • Panel 3: CYIDVA services in Islington – Aisling Barker, Islington Borough Council
  • Panel 3: Tackling adolescent domestic abuse in Lambeth, Rose Parker – Head of Commissioning – Safer Communities; Erika Pavely – Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Workstream Lead – Children and young people; Ariana Markowitz – Community Safety Engagement Manager; and Siofra Peeren – Research Practitioner, Lambeth Health Inequalities Research and Evaluation Network 
  • 16:50 – 17:00 Closing remarks and next steps
  • 17.00 – onwards Drinks reception, Conference attendees are invited to a drinks reception in the Dame Alice Owen

Registration is required and free. This is an in person conference only and catering will be provided. If you cannot attend but would like the slides, please contact the email listed below.

For further information and any questions, please contact VISION at VISION_Management_Team@city.ac.uk

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Making change happen in primary care: the story of IRIS

VISION Director and Professor of Primary Care at the University of Bristol Medical School, Gene Feder, was a keynote speaker at the webinar: Making change happen in primary care – The IRIS story, on 28 November 2023.

With his co-presenter, Medina Johnson, CEO of IRIS, they shared the story of the concept and ambition that led to the beginning of the social enterprise established in 2017 to promote and improve the healthcare response to domestic violence and abuse (DVA).

DVA is a violation of human rights that damages the health of women and families. The health care sector, including primary care, has been slow to respond to the needs of patients affected by DVA, not least because of uncertainty about the effectiveness of training clinicians in identification and engagement with survivors of abuse.

To address that uncertainty, Gene and Medina conducted a cluster-randomised trial in Hackney and Bristol, finding that both identification and referral to specialist DVA services substantially increased in the intervention practices.

In the webinar they mapped the (not always smooth) trajectory from trial results to a nationally available programme commissioned by Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and local authorities in over 50 areas to date, including getting into guidelines/policy, further implementation research, negotiating with commissioners, and setting up a social enterprise (IRISi) to drive the scaling up of the intervention.

For further information please watch the webinar video below.

For any questions or comments, please contact IRISi at info@irisi.org

Causal discovery for studying sexual abuse and psychotic phenomena

 Dr Giusi Moffa

Sexual abuse and bullying are associated with poor mental health in adulthood. Elucidating putative causal relationships between affective and psychotic symptoms may inform the development of therapies. Causal diagrams can help gain insights, but how?

Given a causal diagram, usually represented as a directed acyclic graph (DAG), and observational data from the variables on the graphs, many analytical methods (especially adjustment techniques) allow us to estimate the effect that intervening on a variable is expected to have on another.

In real-world problems, we rarely have a complete picture of an underlying structural mechanism regulating the relationship among different variables. Causal discovery is a technique leveraging statistics and machine learning tools to uncover plausible causal relationships from data, with little to no prior knowledge of them. While learning causal structures from purely observational data relies on unrealistic assumptions (especially causal sufficiency and faithfulness), a causal discovery exercise may help us identify the most promising scenarios to prioritise when designing interventional studies.

In a recent article, now available open access in Psychological Medicine, Dr Giusi Moffa, Statistician affiliated with the University of Basel, Switzerland and colleagues used state-of-the-art sampling methods for inference of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) on data from the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys, to investigate sexual abuse and psychotic phenomena.

The analysis sought to model the interplay among 20 variables, including being a victim of bullying or sexual abuse and a range of psychotic (e.g. paranoia, hallucinations and depression) and affective symptoms (e.g. worry and mood instability) while accounting for the sex of the participant. To respect temporality, we imposed some prior constraints on the DAG structure: childhood sexual abuse and bullying referred to events that were temporally antecedent to the assessment of the psychological variables, and hence they only admit incoming edges from sex and each other.

Contrary to expectations, the procedure favoured models placing paranoia early in the cascade of relationships, close to the abuse variables and generally upstream of affective symptoms. A possible implication is that paranoia follows from early abuse involving bullying or sexual exploitation as a direct consequence. Overall, the results were consistent with sexual abuse and bullying driving a range of affective symptoms via worry. As such, worry may be a salient target for intervention in psychosis.

Check out the paper for a more thorough discussion of the findings (joint work with Jack Kuipers, Elizabeth Kuipers, Paul Bebbington and VISION member Sally McManus).

This is a repost of a blog available on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/causal-discovery-studying-sexual-abuse-psychotic-phenomena-moffa

Paper available open access: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/sexual-abuse-and-psychotic-phenomena-a-directed-acyclic-graph-analysis-of-affective-symptoms-using-english-national-psychiatric-survey-data-erratum/CF603075EBBD5D75E60F327CE01C4050

For further information about the approach: giusi.moffa@unibas.ch