Consortium looks to reduce cost of violence

A new consortium has been created to examine how the negative consequences of violence on health outcomes and inequalities can be reduced.

The £7 million project ‘Violence, Health and Society’, brings together a consortium of public bodies, universities, and third sector organisations, for the five-year collaborative research project, led by Professor Sylvia Walby OBE at City, University of London, and funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP).

The programme will have five main objectives:

  • 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.
  • To develop an improved measurement of violence.
  • To integrate data from multiple sources.
  • To investigate causal pathways between violence, health, and society.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of violence interventions.

“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, said Professor Walby, Chief Investigator and Director of the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London.

The consortium said it 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.

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,” said the consortium.

“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,” said 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.

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