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£1.8million provides boost for research into domestic violence

Press release issued: 25 November 2009

A grant of £1.8million has been awarded to researchers at the University of Bristol for a five year research programme that will study domestic violence and abuse across a range of health care providers, aiming to improve their response to victims and perpetrators.

The grant from the National Institute for Health Research was announced today, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.  It is the largest single grant to be awarded to health-related domestic violence research in Europe.

The programme, entitled PROVIDE (Programme of Research On Violence in Diverse domestic Environments) is designed to improve the evidence base for UK government policies on the health service response to domestic abuse, and to contribute to international research on domestic violence in health care contexts.

It will include:

· two studies focusing on men attending primary care who are domestic violence perpetrators or victims;

· two studies focusing on men who have sex with men attending sexual health services;

· two systematic reviews on the prevalence and experience of domestic violence in people who use mental health services

· a randomised controlled trial of a psychological intervention for women experiencing domestic abuse. 

Professor Gene Feder, principal investigator of PROVIDE, said: “This grant substantially increases our research capacity to engage with relatively under-studied groups, such as men having sex with men and perpetrators presenting in health care settings. 

“Our ultimate goal is practical: improving outcomes for people experiencing domestic violence and abuse by improving the quality of care given by health care professionals.” 

The research will be led by a cross-faculty team at the University of Bristol: Professor Gene Feder and Professor Debbie Sharp in the Department of Community Based Medicine, and Professor Marianne Hester and Dr Emma Williamson in the School for Policy Studies.

The programme is a collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Institute of Psychiatry, London South Bank University, NHS Bristol, Next Link, the lead domestic abuse agency in Bristol, and other third sector organisations within the UK.

Professor Feder and Professor Hester will be speaking at a conference Hitting Where It Hurts: the hidden costs of domestic violence and abuse in Bristol on Friday 27 November.

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