King’s to partner on new Consortium to reduce harmful consequences of violence

King’s College London

The five-year Consortium, ‘Violence, Health and Society’, has been awarded a £7 million UKPRP grant to provide world-leading data on violence, and identify effective and cost-effective interventions to reduce violence in the population.

domestic abuse

A new £7 million project announced today, ‘Violence, Health and Society’, brings together a Consortium of public bodies, universities, and third sector organisations to reduce the negative consequences of violence on health outcomes and inequalities.

The five-year collaborative research project, led by Professor Sylvia Walby OBE at City, University of London, is funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) and will provide world-leading data on violence in order to identify effective and cost-effective interventions to reduce violence in the population. King’s College London is one of five academic partners, alongside University College London, Lancaster University, University of Bristol, and University of Warwick.

Violence is a major contributor to mental ill-health and to health inequalities in society. The Section of Women’s Mental Health at King’s College London are delighted to be partnering with other leading research groups through this Consortium to strengthen evidence on how violence can be most effectively prevented– Dr Sian Oram, Primary Investigator for King’s, and Senior Lecturer in Women’s Mental Health at Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London

Non-communicable diseases make up approximately 89% of all deaths and represent the majority of illnesses in the UK. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, health disparities have been further highlighted, with those with poorer mental and physical health being more vulnerable to the virus. Since exposure to violence is a risk factor for poor mental and physical health, improving violence interventions will reduce health inequalities and improve health outcomes.

Despite the negative emotional and physical impact of domestic and sexual violence, these fields have been neglected within the scientific literature, and the data needed to assess the effectiveness of interventions is weak.

As a result, the ‘Violence, Health and Society’ Consortium will focus on reducing the negative impact of domestic and sexual violence by identifying effective and cost-effective interventions. To achieve this, the Consortium will collate current data from multiple services and surveys into a new integrated dataset, allowing researchers to investigate the effectiveness of violence interventions.

This collaboration will include work at KCL and SLaM drawing on novel clinical informatics resources we have been developing over the last few years to ascertain experiences of violence in mental healthcare service users. This should revolutionise the opportunity to monitor and prevent this important risk factor– Professor Robert Stewart, King’s Lead and Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology & Clinical Informatics

The five main objectives of the ‘Violence, health and Society’ Consortium are:

  1. To develop a theory of change of violence in order to provide a framework to inform pathways to reduce violence, thus improving health outcomes and inequalities.
  2. To develop an improved measurement of violence.
  3. To integrate data from multiple sources.
  4. To investigate causal pathways between violence, health, and society.
  5. To evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of violence interventions.

Through collaborating with multiple sectors to improve the current scientific literature on violence, the Consortium hopes to lead to evidence-based public and policy discussions to reduce violence and its negative consequences on health outcomes and inequalities.

I am thrilled to be involved in this exciting consortium which aims to address structural determinants of abuse and mental health problems, building on the collaborations that we have developed as a result of our UKRI funded Network on Violence, Abuse and Mental Health. I hope this will make a real difference in preventing the harmful impact of abuse and thus reduce intergenerational trauma and mental ill health– Professor Louise Howard, Professor in Women’s Mental Health

The Consortium will also work with providers of data in public services, such as police, justice, and health professionals, and third sector organisations, including the Crime Survey for England & Wales, Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, and the UK Household Longitudinal Study.

The Consortium will also work with providers of data in public services, such as police, justice, and health professionals, and third sector organisations, including the Crime Survey for England & Wales, Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, and the UK Household Longitudinal Study.

This Consortium has the goal of reducing the violence that wrecks lives by improving data. Many organisations share the same goal of reducing violence, but cooperation can be hindered by differences in the way that violence is measured. Our contribution lies in improving the data on violence, making translations between different ways of conceptualising violence, and building shared forms of measurement of violence, in order to build better explanations and, hence, more effective interventions– Professor Sylvia Walby OBE, Chief Investigator and Director of the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London

This work was supported by the UK Prevention Research Partnership, which is funded by the British Heart Foundation, Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Health and Social Care Research and Development Division (Welsh Government), Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, Natural Environment Research Council, Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), The Health Foundation and The Wellcome Trust.

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