Violence and trauma prevention

An outline image of two birds breaking out of a cage


Our focus is on the prevention of all forms of violence, abuse and trauma, inclusive of culture, gender, sexuality, age, black minority and ethnic group, and social status. Our work spans the victim/survivor/bystander/perpetrator spheres. 

We are particularly interested in developing innovative interdisciplinary methods through which social scientists (psychologists, sociologists, criminologists, social policy makers) join with colleagues in all relevant disciplines, such as health and education, to develop new ways of combating violence, abuse and trauma, or new ways of understanding violence and abuse in order to raise public awareness and/or engage broader public audiences in debates about violence prevention.

Current projects:

  1. The Ambulance Staff Charity – Paramedics’ personal experiences of violence, trauma and abuse: This project uses an online survey with ambulance staff, exploring their experiences of domestic abuse, symptoms of PTSD and Adverse Childhood Experiences with the aim of understanding how they can best be supported (Dr Holly Taylor-Dunn, Claire Richards and Prof Erica Bowen)
  2. Anawim – Evaluation of the Women’s Involvement Worker role: Longitudinal evaluation of the role of ‘Women’s Involvement Worker’ to engage service users with activities within Anawim and society more widely, to explore the impact of the role on the post holders, the organisation, managers, and service users. (Dr Rosie Erol and Prof Erica Bowen)
  3. DAPP Evaluation – Evaluation of the implementation of the Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Panel in West Mercia: The Drive model is a multi-agency model of managing high-risk domestic violence perpetrators, through diversion support and disruption, plus therapeutic interventions to change behaviour. Perpetrators are referred from MARAC and the police via the Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Panel (DAPP). (Dr Rosie Erol and Prof Erica Bowen)


Affiliate Members

Professor Erica Bowen (external)

Harriet Bromley (PhD Student)

Lois Donnelly (PhD Student)

Emma Jones (PhD Student)

Carolyn Ball (PhD student) 

Dr Gabriela Misca

Dr Holly Taylor-Dunn (The Open University)

Recent Projects

  • Professor Erica Bowen, Dr Holly Taylor-Dunn, Claire Richards, Beverley Gilbert (2019) West Mercia Women’s Aid Evaluation of the EDNA project – An evaluation of a service set up to support women with complex needs.
  • Dr Holly Taylor-Dunn and Dr Rosie Erol (2018) – Evaluation of an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor service.  This project used Realist Evaluation to identify what worked, for whom, in what circumstances and in what respects.
  • Dr Holly Taylor-Dunn, Dr Rosie Erol and Professor Erica Bowen (2018) – Northumbria Police – Evaluation of a Cyber Stalking and Harassment Domestic Abuse Pilot Project.
  • Rosie Erol & Erica Bowen (June 2017 – Feb 2018) - West Midlands Police DASH research. Aim: to investigate the reasons for the differences in assessment of high risk incidents between two policing areas. Approach: analysis of police data for high risk domestic abuse cases, and semi-structured interviews with front line officers.
  • Dr Holly Taylor-Dunn, Professor Erica Bowen and Professor Liz Gilchrist (2017) – Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Services - investigation into victims experiences of reporting stalking and harassment to the police. 
  • Rosie Erol, Gill Harrop & Liz Gilchrist Recognising and responding to vulnerability – West Mercia Police.  Two evaluation projects (pilot Nov 2015 – Feb 2016; full roll out across Warwickshire – June 2016 – Feb 2017). Aim: to understand the influence of vulnerability workshops on attitudes and behaviours around professional curiosity and recognising and responding to vulnerability.

Recent Publications

  • McLoone-Richards, C. (2020) The boys won’t leave the girls alone!”:The importance of advocacy and educational leadership in addressing School-Related-Gender-Based-Violence (SRGBV). In, Issues in Education Quality.  Elmaouhal, E., Zniber, M. & Barakat, O. (eds.), Agadir, Ibn Zohr University.
  • McLoone-Richards, C. & Robinson, C. (2020) ‘I know I am just a student but…’: the challenges for educators in students to develop their advocacy skills in protecting children. Early Years: An International Research Journal, DOI:1080/09575146.2020.17409036    
  • Richards, C.M. (2019) “Is it safe?”…Creating safe reflective spaces and places for practitioners in mentoring and supervision of safeguarding children. In, Gasper, M.& Walker, R. (eds) Mentoring, Coaching and Supervision in the Early Years: theory and practice. London, Bloomsbury.
  • Richards, C.M. (2019) ‘Looking Back in Anger’ the impact of mother and child trauma experiences in the context of Domestic Violence and Abuse. In, Fleet, A. & Reed, M. (eds.) Thinking about Pedagogy in Early Education: Multiple Early Childhood Identities. London, Routledge.
  • Taylor-Dunn, H., Bowen, E., Gilchrist, E. (2017) The Victim Journey - A participatory research project seeking the views and experiences of victims of stalking and harassment.
  • Taylor-Dunn, H., Bowen, E., Gilchrist, E. (2018) Reporting Stalking and Harassment to the Police - A Qualitative Study of Victims’ Experiences. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Information for prospective PhD students

We welcome proposals from propsective, self-funding students which explore a range of issues and approaches in the field of violence prevention.Please see the research school pages for details on how to apply. 

Topics may include:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Sexual violence/abuse
  • Child abuse
  • Human trafficking/sexual exploitation
  • Perpetrator interventions
  • Bystander intervention/violence prevention
  • Stalking and harassment (including cyber)


For more information about this theme, please contact Dr Rosie Erol