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 experiences of  victim/survivors, bystanders, perpetrators and practitioners.

Our research interests encompass all aspects of violent crime, looking at the impact of violence, the response to violence and abuse, and strengthening the evidence base to influence policy and practice, with the overall aim of preventing violence and reducing harm.

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.

 Areas of research work undertaken include:

  • Understanding police decision making around domestic abuse, particularly in relation to risk assessment and coercive control
  • Implementation and evaluation of interventions and programmes aimed at domestic abuse perpetrators
  • Understanding attitudes towards sexual violence
  • Implementation and evaluation of an active bystander programme to respond to domestic violence, coercive and controlling behaviour and sexual violence
  • Understanding the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • Crisis communication and hostage negotiation
  • Peer mentoring and peer support workers with lived experience
  • The experience of domestic abuse cyber stalking and harassment
  • The experience of violence, trauma and abuse by emergency services and healthcare staff
  • Policing and vulnerability

Current projects:

  1. Understanding police hostage and crisis negotiator deployment in the United Kingdom: This project is being completed in partnership with Norfolk Constabulary and involves analysis of data from the National Negotiator Deployment Database to understand the prevalence and situational characteristics of police negotiator deployment across the UK and to build a picture of effective negotiator intervention using predictive risk modelling. (Dr Amy Grubb) 
  2. Evaluation of the implementation of the Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Panel in West Mercia. Evaluation of a new multi-agency panel to identify perpetrators who are suitable for the Drive behaviour change programme, and coordinate actions to disrupt offending behaviour (Dr Rosie Erol and Dr Laura Scurlock-Evans)

Current PhD student projects

  • Lois Donnelly: The Family Courts and victims of Intimate Partner Abuse: experiences and perceived impact of Special Measures
  • Carolyn Ball: How does the experience of intimate partner violence victimisation influence men’s experience as fathers?
  • Harriet Bromley: A strengths-based approach to exploring resilience in domestic and sexual violence advocates.

Affiliate Members

Carolyn Ball (PhD student) 

Professor Erica Bowen (external)

Harriet Bromley (PhD Student)

Lois Donnelly (PhD Student)

Emma Jones (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

  • Bowen, E., Erol, R. and Scott, H. (2020) Insight, Inclusion, Impact Women's Involvement Worker Toolkit: learning from experience at Anawim. Anawim and University of Worcester, Worcester.
  • Grubb, A. R., Brown, S. J., Hall, P., & Bowen, E. (2021).  From deployment to debriefing: Introducing the D.I.A.M.O.N.D. model of hostage and crisis negotiation.  Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, 22(1), 953-976. doi:10.1080/15614263.2019.1677229
  • Grubb, A. R. (2021).  Understanding the communication dynamics inherent to police hostage and crisis negotiation.  In H. Giles, E. R. Maguire, & S. L. Hill (Eds.), The Rowman and Littlefield handbook of policing, communication, and society (pp. 275-296). London: Rowman & Littlefield.   
  • Grubb, A. R. (2020).  Understanding the prevalence and situational characteristics of hostage and crisis negotiation in England: An analysis of pilot data from the national negotiator deployment database.  Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 35(1), 98-111.  doi:10.1007/s11896-020-09369-z      
  • Grubb, A. R., Brown, S. J., Hall, P., & Bowen, E. (2019).  The self-perceived successful hostage and crisis negotiator profile: A qualitative assessment of negotiator competencies.  Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, 20(4), 321-342.  doi:10.1080/15614263.2018.1473772
  • Grubb, A. R., Brown, S. J., Hall, P., & Bowen, E. (2019).  From “sad people on bridges” to “kidnap and extortion”: Understanding the nature and situational characteristics of hostage and crisis negotiator deployments.  Journal of Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 12(1), 41-65.  doi:10.1111/ncmr.12126
  • Grubb, A. R., Brown, S. J., Hall, P., & Bowen, E. (2019).  “There’s nothing that compares to it”: A grounded theoretical analysis of the experiences of police hostage and crisis negotiators.  International Journal of Conflict Management, 30(3), 369-394.  doi:10.1108/IJCMA-01-2019-0003
  • 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., & Erol, R. (2021). Improving the safety and well-being of domestic abuse survivors: the role of a specialist organisation in supporting the work of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors. Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 1-22.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Information for prospective PhD students

We welcome proposals from prospective, 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)
  • Policing and vulnerability


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