Domestic abuse study launched into local services

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Researchers from the University of Huddersfield want to hear from anyone who has been affected by domestic abuse* about their experience of local support services as part of a study commissioned by Calderdale Council.   

The study, which is being undertaken by Dr Bernard Gallagher and Ruth Neville from the Division of Social Work at the University of Huddersfield, is designed to help shape services in future, either by making it easier for people to access the support they need or to improve the services which are already provided. 

Dr Bernard Gallagher, Reader in Social Work and Applied Social Sciences at Huddersfield University said: 

“There are many services in Calderdale which work with survivors, perpetrators, children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse, including health, housing, police, probation and social services, together with a range of voluntary organisations.  

“To get an accurate picture of whether these are effective we want to hear about people’s experiences – whether they received the support they needed and whether there’s more which could be done.  We need to hear from as many people as possible, as we want to avoid the stereotypes which can surround domestic abuse, for example about the age or gender of survivors.  

“We’ve already embarked on one of the most innovative approaches to data collection that I’m aware of, to reach as many people as possible.  We’ve asked pubs, clubs, hairdressers and supermarkets across Calderdale to display posters to encourage people to come forward and take part in the study.  We’ve also been in touch with a vast range of small voluntary organisations.    

“And there’s still an opportunity for people to take part – if you would like to participate in the research, in confidence, then please contact Ruth on 01484 4472659 or email or me on 01484  473158 or email” 

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Cllr Megan Swift said: 

“Domestic abuse is extremely harmful and can have lasting consequences for survivors, their loved ones and the community.   It’s vital that these services are as effective as possible and I’d urge anyone affected to take part.  It’s completely anonymous, so please do come forward so that we can make sure that our local services provide the support which people need.  

“We’d also like to share the findings of the study with local authorities throughout West Yorkshire and nationally, to make sure we’re doing all we can to tackle this issue.” 

The study will finish at the end of September 2015 and the final report will be submitted at the end of October 2015.

*The researchers are working to the Home Office definition of DA: link)

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