Understanding the geospatial and contextual patterns of rural domestic abuse: an exploratory study

With over 10 million people in England and Wales living in rural settings, this collaboration between Cumbria Constabulary and the University of Leeds has far-reaching potential to positively impact those affected by domestic abuse.

The research is funded by the Police Science, Technology, Analysis & Research Board and has received support from the Home Office and the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA). The project builds upon a previous collaboration between Cumbria Constabulary and Dr Sam Lewis that examined police responses to child-to-parent violence, funded by the N8 Policing Research Partnership.

The bid evidenced the need for further research into domestic abuse in rural settings, noting the significant under-reporting of domestic abuse in general alongside concerns that victims in rural areas may face particular barriers to reporting and service access. This research will bring together data from Cumbria Constabulary and other local service providers to better understand the nature, extent, and spatial patterns of rural domestic abuse, to support data-driven service delivery. 

The findings from this important study will be widely disseminated, providing an opportunity for the knowledge produced to shape policy and practice developments in the policing of rural spaces in England, Wales and further afield.

On 6 February 2023, the project partners hosted a one-day conference on violence against women and girls (VAWG). The conference brought together leading researchers, national policy makers, and local practitioners. Read more about the conference here.

To find out more about domestic abuse and accessing support services in West Yorkshire visit: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/domesticabuse.