|Placed On:||17th May 2019|
|Closes:||21st June 2019|
Start date: October 2019
Over 1 million women and 500,000 men suffered from domestic abuse in the UK in 2018 (ONS, 2018). Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (2014) highlighted the problem of repeat and prolific perpetrators of domestic violence and called on police services to do more to systematically target these offenders. Further, there is a need to understand which, among the many, offenders are likely to perpetrate the most serious domestic violence in the future (this has been termed ‘deadly violence’ – violence that caused, or could easily have caused, death).
The prediction of future violence has received a great deal of scientific interest in the past 25 years (see Gray et al., 2014) with a range of risk factors being identified for violence. In turn, these risk factors have then been used to design instruments that aid the professional to perform a risk assessment to evaluate the chances (or risk) of violent acts occurring in the future.
The Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour Based Violence (DASH, 2009), Risk Identification Assessment and Management Model was designed to improve police responses to incidents of domestic abuse. However, this model was not firmly based on risk factors that are known to predict either future domestic abuse or deadly violence. Further, there was no piloting of this instrument before its adoption by all 43 Police Forces throughout England and Wales. More recently there has been some attempt at evaluation. Robinson et al. (2016) showed that the use of DASH was rather patchy, with officers often failing to submit the form or altering it after the event. The officers gave great weight to criminal offences committed and any injuries sustained by the victim during the incident in their assessments of risk, rather than adhering to the risk evaluation scheme. The report recommended that a more evidence-based approach is needed and that issues such as coercive control and patterns of abuse need to be better understood in the context of future risk of serious domestic violence and domestic homicide.
Given the widespread use of DASH within the police force, it is imperative that its efficacy is established. In this study, we will use historical data gathered by Dyfed Powys Police to examine which factors within the DASH assessment were predictive of future recorded incidents of domestic abuse, including those of “deadly violence”. From this we can establish: (1) if DASH was predictive of future domestic violence; and (2) which elements of DASH were the most predictive.
We will work with key stakeholders: the Vulnerability Desk at Dyfed Powys Police, the Probation Service, and the third sector (e.g. Calan Domestic Violence Services and Welsh Women’s Aid) to evaluate other methodologies of evaluating risk of domestic violence and methods of identifying the presence of coercive control. These methodologies will be triangulated in order to try to improve the reliability and validity of the evaluation and formulation of risk of domestic violence, coercive control, stalking and harassment by front line police officers and their strategic partners.
Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in an undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related subject.
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.
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