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

Official estimates suggest that in 2020, 9.7 million people in England and almost 1 million people in Wales lived in rural areas.

Evidence from the USA and Australia suggest that the persistence of rural values, rural isolation, and limited support services mean that rural victims may wait longer before seeking help, enduring more serious violence, than those living in urban areas.

Nationally, approximately one-third of domestic abuse is reported to and recorded by the police, and variations in reporting may vary by geography. These factors present a significant challenge to local areas wishing to develop an evidence-based response. 

Funded by the Police Science, Technology, Analysis & Research Board the project team has partnered up with Cumbria Constabulary and the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics to combine applied data science with interviews with local practitioners to explore the causes, extent and geospatial distribution of rural domestic abuse reports.

Our research findings will support data-driven proactive responses designed to reduce the harm associated with domestic abuse in rural communities.