On the outside looking in: the shared burden of domestic violence
19 February 2013
Domestic violence is experienced by one in four British women during their lifetime, and has profound physical and mental health consequences. Adult friends or relatives of a woman in an abusive relationship may be aware of the situation, either because the survivor has spoken to them about it, or because they have noticed behaviours that concern them. However, there is a lack of research looking at the consequences of this awareness on the health and wellbeing of the woman’s supportive network – we simply don’t know what the toll is on the adult friends and family members.
A study, led by Alison Gregory, a researcher and PhD Student from the University’s School of Social and Community Medicine and funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, has been recruiting adults who have a female relative, friend or co-worker who has been in an abusive relationship to share their experiences. A number of people have been interviewed, and there are clear indications that they have been impacted both directly and vicariously by the domestic violence. The study is looking to recruit a further ten participants.
Alison said: “Many women who experience domestic abuse (from a partner or family member) will choose to talk about their situation with people close to them, and may find this really helpful. However, we don’t know what the impact is for the friends and relatives who find themselves in this position.”
“Taking part in this study will help us find out what those impacts are. It is important that we have this information in order to create services that are both appropriate and helpful in meeting the needs of those affected.”
Participants will be invited to a one-to-one confidential research interview lasting about an hour to talk about their experiences. If you have a female friend or family member, who is aged 16 or over, and has experienced domestic violence, and are happy to speak to a researcher about the impact that this may have had on you, please contact Alison Gregory, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tel mobile: 07717 000746