ESRC IAA funding: Project Co-Creation: Tracing harm in domestic abuse

Research Institution / Organisation

University of Exeter

In Collaboration With

Devon and Cornwall Police

Principal Researcher

Dr Katharine Boyd

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

October 2018

Research Context

​This is an ESRC-IAA Co-Creation funded study that seeks to expand upon the research findings of a prior domestic abuse (DA) study that analysed harm amongst DA cases recorded by the Devon and Cornwall Police between June 2014 and October 2016.

This study seeks to explore why we found a de-escalation of harm in DA incidents, and investigate more who is involved in disproportionate harm. A series of research questions and hypotheses were developed in a meeting with Devon and Cornwall Police and other people who work in DA then a number of these were developed into the bid for funding.

Research Methodology

"Why”: Service provision and harm reduction

  • Devon and Cornwall have different service provisions for domestic abuse in different geographic areas. We will compare harm trajectories across separate locations in an attempt to link provisions to harm outcomes. 
  • If possible, given data security issues with police data, mapping software will be used to create a topographical map of harm and identify hotspot locations and related provision centres.
  • Identify service provisions associated with decreasing harm rates, and those with increasing/not decreasing harm rates. Create a survey/interview protocol to meet with these centres to identify and compare how services are delivered.

"Who”: Offenders of Disproportionate Harm

  • Using available data, identify key characteristics to include in profiles of individuals in high harm offender-victim dyads (e.g., criminal antecedents—prior offenses, cross-offending; gender; age; mental health; CSE; drugs & alcohol).
  • Create profiles of serial offenders, and high harm offenders. Conduct analysis to see if there are unique predictors in the profile distinguishing these individuals.
  • Compare profiles of repeat offenders (with a single victim) and serial offenders (multiple victims).

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

March 2019
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