The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN) is working with partners from across the eastern region to form a new Domestic Abuse Research Network.

Dr Olumide Adisa, Research Fellow at the University of Suffolk, whose research and public engagement efforts has been a catalyst in the development of the Network, said “It is really exciting to see the many months of conversations with practitioners, commissioners of services, and researchers come to life in the form of the new Domestic Abuse Research Network. There is a huge value in building a multi-disciplinary community of researchers and practitioners where people can share ideas and learn from one another.”

“The success of our domestic abuse conference in Ipswich last year suggests that there is a huge appetite and need for this type of research and scholarly activity, enabling the flow of ideas and knowledge on ‘what works’ for services in tackling domestic violence and abuse in the region. Understanding ‘what works’ for domestic abuse is a high priority for policymakers locally and nationally in the UK. This has certainly been seen in recent efforts on the part of the government to deal with domestic abuse at every stage, from prevention to protection as well as rehabilitation.”

“Members of the network will share research, practice and learning as well as explore collaborative research projects on domestic abuse and related areas that will have real impact on scholarship, practice, and policy.”

The steering group includes an academic reference group drawn from University of Suffolk, University of Essex, University of East Anglia, and domestic abuse specialist organisations.

Councillor Paul West, Cabinet member for Ipswich, Communities and Waste said, “I’m extremely proud to be opening this event for the Domestic Abuse Research Network. Domestic Abuse is an appalling crime, which not only ruins the lives of victims but also has a devastating impact on their families. Nobody should have to live in fear of violence or controlling behaviour, especially in their own home, which is why I’m pleased that this partnership will undoubtedly have a positive impact on reducing the levels of violence and abuse in the county. By sharing knowledge and research amongst all those who are working in this field we can form a stronger, united front in tackling serious issues such as domestic abuse.”

Lorne Green, Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, said, “Domestic abuse blights our Norfolk community – no one has the right to seek to deny another their human dignity and self-esteem. It is vital that we understand well the complex and interwoven factors that inform the causes of domestic abuse, whether from the vantage point of the victim, family, the wider community and, indeed, the perpetrator. I am honoured that we have the opportunity to contribute to this essential network and look forward to benefitting from the research of its members.”

Andrew Whinney from Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary said, “We wanted to be part of this Network so we can be linked with partner agencies, to better understand domestic abuse from a policing perspective and how we can improve our processes for all those concerned.”

“It’s the first event of its kind and it is an area I am really interested in; policing research and how we can use the evidence base better. Something like this, hooking everyone in to one single group, is really valuable.”

Keith Whitton from Anglia Care Trust said, “We do a lot of work across Suffolk in regards to domestic abuse especially economic abuse. In terms of forming a stronger evidence base, research is critical which is why we are part of the Network. The research can help to influence funders and commissioners. As funding becomes tighter, people need stronger evidence to apportion what funds they have. There is a lot happening but perhaps we need more joined-up thinking, that’s where this Network can be of benefit.”

To find out more about the Network please visit https://www.uos.ac.uk/content/domestic-abuse-research-network