Published: 17 May 2023

Breaking the cycle of domestic abuse - a new study highlights the vital importance of support services empowering survivors to make the changes they need

Facilitating access to support services for survivors of domestic abuse empowers them to make changes they need in their lives.

A study from University of Surrey Associate Professor Martin Koppensteiner, Jesse Matheson from the University of Sheffield and Reka Plugor from the University of Leicester shows that victims’ wellbeing is improved when a caseworker helps them to access support services.

The randomized controlled trial evaluated an intervention, which saw caseworkers assigned to work with survivors of domestic abuse helping them to access support services. The study found that people who had easier access to services – refuge housing, counselling and practical support - were less likely to be in contact with their abuser and more likely to report future incidents.

The intervention also lead to a more efficient use of police resources by reducing their caseload when survivors were better served by outside support services.

With domestic abuse making up one third of all arrests made by the police in the UK removing barriers to support services is a vital step-forward for survivors and the police.

This ground-breaking research has the potential to inform policy decisions and shape interventions aimed at combating domestic abuse.

Read more about the study on the VoxEU column.

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