Research on combating interpersonal violence carried out by Dr Erica Bowen
(Reader in the
Psychology of Intimate Partner Violence) has resulted in:
Child protection policy and practice has largely ignored young people's
experiences of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and peer-on-peer violence.
Law enforcement and child protection responses are not integrated,
resulting in oversimplified interpretations of young people's victimhood
and criminality. As the only research centre in Europe exclusively
targeting these problems, The International Centre: Researching Child
Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking has had direct impact
At a time when youth gangs were high on the UK and Scottish governments'
agendas and a focus of media concern, this research was instrumental in
changing understandings of the origins of youth gangs, and why they engage
in violent conflict. A key insight was that significant gang behaviour had
its origins in extreme forms of place attachment. The impact encompassed
changes in policy direction and programmes aimed at tackling youth
violence, including policies in Scotland such as `No Knives Better Lives'.
Through very substantial publicity, including coverage on 2 primetime TV
documentaries, the research informed public understandings, and challenged
conventional wisdom on the nature, organisation and behaviour of youth
Our evaluation of gang member rehabilitation and violence reduction
programme in Glasgow has had considerable and enduring policy impact.
Scottish Government policy is built on the principals our research
espouses. Homicide rates in Scotland are now at a thirty-year low. The
Prime Minister and national newspapers cited the initiative as a solution
after the London riots and the UK Government incorporated the ethos of
this program into their policy and practice. Working jointly with the WHO,
we are having impact in South Africa, Jamaica and Lithuania. For example,
the Western Cape Province of South Africa has, following our involvement
and for the first time, initiated a violence reduction strategy. The most
important impact of our work, however, is the change it creates in young
people's lives, transforming their prospects from those of a lifetime of
intermittent imprisonment to one of useful and meaningful societal
involvement and contribution.
The University of Huddersfield's School of Education and Professional
Development has produced an extensive body of research addressing the
experiences and needs of educationally marginalised young people. This
work has developed understanding of the experiences of young people not in
education, employment or training (NEET), learners in alternative
education and those on low-level vocational programmes. Responding to
stakeholder demands for a more nuanced insight into these problems and
their possible solutions, research has been disseminated to practitioners,
policymakers, voluntary organisations, local authorities and the wider
public through conference presentations, keynote addresses and the media,
benefiting user communities at local, regional and national levels.
National and international policy on domestic violence has been strongly
influenced since 2008 by a series of studies on domestic violence
conducted at the University of Bristol, resulting for example in the
piloting of a national disclosure scheme. The studies have also had a
positive impact on the practical ways in which agencies such as the police
respond to domestic violence as well as influencing the development of a
European Police handbook on domestic violence. The criminal justice
system, practitioners and victims have benefited from the studies'
insights into the `attrition' that can occur between the reporting of an
act of domestic violence to the police and the final outcome in court.
They have also gained from Bristol's work on the profiles of perpetrators
and the behavioural differences between male and female perpetrators.
The impact of the research has been firstly, in informing the creation of
a new kind of domestic violence court and secondly, in alerting domestic
and European policy-makers to the problem of women rough sleepers which
was previously effectively "invisible."
summary of the case study
case study emerged from research conducted by the Central Institute for
the Study of Public Protection and its predecessors (Policy Research
Institute and Regional Research Institute). It informed the development
of specialist domestic violence courts in the UK and brought to the
attention of European and domestic policy-makers the plight of victims
of domestic violence many of whom find themselves compelled to sleep
rough, but do so in ways that result in them remaining invisible to the
This case study focuses on two related areas: the issue of violence
against female students and how this is framed by `lad culture' in higher
education (HE). It documents five areas where Alison Phipps' research has
either directly led or indirectly contributed to change:
National and international research findings were utilised to raise
professional, political and faith-based awareness of the impact of abuse
and exploitation on the educational, social and emotional development of
children and young people considered to be `at risk'. The impact of the
case study lies in its ability to portray, through the use of
participatory research methodologies, the experiences of young people who
have been the victims of abuse, neglect and human trafficking. Evidence
collated indicates that the work has significantly increased national and
local awareness and understanding, and led to specific organisational
changes in policy and practice.
This case study demonstrates the impact generated through research
studies at Plymouth University into `sexting', the self-generation and
distribution of explicit images, by children and young people. The
findings have informed briefing material for Ofsted inspectors, been used
to develop material for schools, and led to schools developing new
curriculum based support and peer mentoring. The research has also
extended the understanding of the emerging issues and helped inform
national debate and public discourse.