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Scotland to join major European study into responses to domestic abuse

Scotland to join major European study into responses to domestic abuse

Domestic abuse - Image credit: Laura Dodsworth

Scottish researchers are to join a Europe-wide project looking at the best way for agencies such as the police to respond to cases of domestic abuse.

Researchers from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) will collaborate with academics from Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal and Slovenia to identify best practice.

It is hoped the findings of the three-year project will improve the responses of police, social work and others such as third sector organisations to help increase reporting of domestic abuse.

Around 58,000 cases of domestic abuse are reported to Police Scotland each year, but it is thought many more go unreported.

SCCJR will work in partnership with Police Scotland to carry out the Scottish strand of the €2.9m IMPRODOVA project with funding from the EU Horizon 2020 fund.

Professor Michele Burman and Dr Oona Brooks-Hay of the University of Glasgow will conduct fieldwork across the country, with results of the project to be published in 2021.

The findings will be used to produce a series of recommendations as well as new toolkits and training opportunities for frontline staff.

Michele Burman said: “We are delighted to join such a large consortium of European researchers to research such an important issue.

“With around 58,000 incidences of domestic abuse reported to Police Scotland every year we know that domestic abuse affects many people and causes considerable harm.

“It is therefore essential that victim-survivors have confidence in those services providing assistance to them.”

Detective Superintendent Gordon McCreadie who leads Police Scotland’s response to domestic abuse, said Police Scotland was “committed to reducing the harm caused by domestic abuse”.

He added: “Improving our understanding of this complex area is key and we recognise the importance of collaboration to help inform how we can further enhance our response. 

“Our 10 year strategy for policing in Scotland identifies the importance of sharing knowledge and participation in studies such as this will support further learning and identify possible improvements to the service we provide."

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