Safe

The online home for the latest research and initiatives in the domestic abuse sector.

Welcome to Safe, a hub for the latest research and initiatives in the domestic abuse sector.

Safe will showcase leading academic work and projects from across the sector. We’ll bring you regular guest blogs and updates from our own research and policy teams.

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Survivors deserve to be heard:  The reality of the barriers to mental health support

Survivors deserve to be heard:  The reality of the barriers to mental health support  A Safe Blog by Lizzie McCarthy and Jenny Birchall, Women’s Aid 6th December 2021: Today, Women’s Aid has published two reports as part of our Deserve To Be Heard campaign. This campaign aims to highlight the devastating impact of domestic abuse on the mental health of women and their children. Through our campaign, we [...]

Women who kill: how the state criminalises women we might otherwise be burying

Women who kill: how the state criminalises women we might otherwise be burying By Sophie Howes, Research Consultant, Centre for Women’s Justice Introduction Those working in the field of violence against women and girls are primarily focused on the state’s duties to protect, prevent and investigate crimes of violence perpetrated against women and girls. We often refer to the horrendous [...]

Safe blog: It’s time to flip the sexist script

It’s time to flip the sexist script Tuesday 20th July 2021: Today, Women's Aid and the University of Bristol publish new research, “Gendered experiences of justice and domestic abuse. Evidence for Policy and Practice”. Lizzie McCarthy and Sarah Davidge explain why it is vital that we recognise the role sexism and misogyny play in setting the scene for domestic abuse.  Read [...]

The movement against domestic violence: celebrating our history – by Gill Hague

The movement against domestic violence: celebrating our history A Safe blog by Gill Hague, Professor Emerita of Violence Against Women Studies Women’s Aid and the services in the present domestic violence sector arose originally out of pioneering women’s activism, fighting for social change. The direct connection from today back to the movement against violence against women of the 1970s is [...]

“Parental alienation”: A dangerous and harmful concept

"Parental alienation": A dangerous and harmful concept A Safe blog by Jenny Birchall, Senior Research and Policy Officer at Women's Aid Over the last few years, the terms “parental alienation” and “alienating behaviour” have been used more and more – in the family courts, in children’s social work, on social media, and even in debates about the new domestic abuse [...]

Network of refuges in England depends on services running with no funding

Network of refuges in England depends on services running with no funding By Maia Samuel, Senior Research and Evaluation Officer at Women’s Aid Monday 15th February 2021: Today, Women’s Aid published a new report, Fragile funding landscape: the extent of local authority commissioning in the domestic abuse refuge sector in England 2020 Read the report: Fragile funding landscape Fragile funding [...]

How Covid-19 is impacting domestic abuse reported to the police

Covid-19 and its associated restrictions are making leaving - and reporting - an abusive relationship more difficult. Katrin Hohl and Kelly Johnson share the preliminary findings of their research into how lockdowns make reporting to the police harder, alongside their recommendations for forces to prepare for a surge in reports post-lockdown. This article was originally commissioned and published by the [...]

Why data matters when talking about domestic abuse

Why data matters when talking about domestic abuse By Acting CEO of Women's Aid, Nicki Norman Today on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, I want to talk about the importance of listening to the data and providing a gendered response to domestic abuse. And with new ONS figures out today demonstrating the prevalence of domestic [...]

Secondary trauma: The impact of researching sensitive subjects on researchers

Secondary trauma: The impact of researching sensitive subjects on researchers  By Emma Williamson and Alison Gregory  Published: 23rd November 2020 Read more research news on our Safe Blog For those of you working in frontline direct services, where clinical supervision is the norm, this may seem a strange blog. Academic researchers, irrespective of the nature of their research, very rarely get clinical supervision.    Earlier this year we [...]

Impact award nomination for groundbreaking research project partner

Impact award nomination for research project partner Professor Marianne Hester's examination of justice through the eyes of survivors nominated for award Our research has had a major impact on the understanding of domestic abuse amongst policymakers, campaigners, in parliament and more. Some of our work involves collaborating with various projects and institutions, where our quality research is central to project [...]

“I didn’t know where I was going and what’s going to happen” – Children speak about their journeys into refuge

“I didn’t know where I was going and what’s going to happen” Children speak about their journeys into refuge By Josie Austin, Research and Evaluation at Women’s Aid Tuesday 22nd September 2020: Today, Women’s Aid published a new report, Nowhere to Turn for Children and Young People: Documenting the journeys of children and young people into refuge This report is […]

Financial hardship and homelessness: the high price women pay to escape domestic abuse

Today, 10th June, Women’s Aid published two reports which highlight the devastating impact of domestic abuse on women’s housing options. The Domestic Abuse Report 2020: The Hidden Housing Crisis,1 and Nowhere To Turn 2020 2 both show that homelessness is a very real risk that survivors face, and this is a message we cannot ignore. By Lizzie Magnusson and Sarah […]

Parental alienation and the family courts

Dr Adrienne Barnett writes our first guest post for Safe, our new online research blog. She explores how claims of parental alienation in the family courts are being used as means to silence victims of domestic abuse. Published: 28th April 2020 Parental alienation and the family courts Dr Adrienne Barnett is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Brunel University London. […]

“Covid-19 does not cause domestic abuse, only abusers are responsible for their actions.”

When the country went into lockdown on 23rd March 2020 we at Women’s Aid knew that this would have a very real impact on the lives of women experiencing domestic abuse, their children and the dedicated specialist services supporting them. Sarah Davidge, Research and Evaluation Manager at Women’s Aid, explains why: “Covid-19 does not cause domestic abuse, only abusers are […]

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