Press Releases

Two-year European research project exploring children’s resilience to domestic abuse draws to a close

Review here.

The British Psychological Society - Psychology of Women Section Review Issue 17(2015), pg.13.

European research study into children’s experiences of domestic violence will be the subject of a public talk at Leeds Beckett University on Wednesday 18 March 2015.

Embodiment and use of space 03 March 2015 University College London

Humour, embodiment and use of space: Agency and resistance in young people who have lived with domestic violence. BPS Psychology of Women Section Annual Conference 9-11 July 2014

The University of Northampton -Thursday 22nd May 2014

​The University of Northampton invited domestic violence, mental health and social work practitioners, teachers and carers to a free event on Friday 16 May, to discuss research into the impact domestic violence has on children.

Opened by Deputy Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Doug Rae and led by Dr Jane Callaghan from the University's Centre for Children and Youth, the event discussed the findings of the Understanding Agency and Resistant Strategies (UNARS) study. UNARS is a two-year research project, funded by the European Commission that has explored how children cope during and after experiencing domestic violence and abuse. The UNARS researchers have been working with Northampton Women's Aid and partners in Italy, Spain and Greece.

Dr Jane Callaghan explained: "This public event gave us the opportunity to share the findings of the UNARS study with professionals working with children who have experienced domestic violence. As part of this research we have interviewed nearly 100 children, in four European countries, gathering over 5,000 minutes of recordings."

"Research that explores domestic violence from the perspective of children affected by it is rare," continued Dr Callaghan, "and we are excited to be able to share our findings with people who work with young people, in order to have a positive effect on their lives."

Researchers presented excerpts from some of the one-to-one, semi-structured interviews with the young people, which demonstrated how they coped and what resources enabled them to be resilient in situations of violence. Some of the researchers in other countries had particular difficulties in recruiting participants because of the legal requirements to obtain dual consent prior to interviewing children and young people.

The researchers have considered the young person's resilience and positive sense of self. Dr Jane Callaghan explained: "Previous research has labelled these children as wounded, damaged, hurt – but we are hearing an alternative story, how children are hurt, but also how they cope.

"It is clear that young people find complex and creative coping strategies in these situations. You can't research the wounds children experience without also understanding what makes them stronger. Understanding how these young people cope can offer a starting point for helping young people to recover from domestic violence."

Researchers have used creative techniques to help the young people to tell their stories, encouraging participants to use different mediums to such as drawing, painting, writing, photography or audio-recording. Dr Callaghan explained: "The PhotoVoice project highlights children's capacity to think, act, cope and create."

Dr Callaghan summarised: "If you're told 'you're worthless' – how do you construct an alternative view? How do you resist? Many children press back on what happens to them, displaying resilience and a tremendous sense of self. Children are coping, managing their situations. They are powerful, brave and intelligent."

At the University of Northampton, the UNARS team are: Dr Jane Callaghan, Professor Judith Sixsmith, Joanne Alexander, Dr Lisa Fellin and Sarah Armstrong-Hallam.

University of Northampton academics share rare research into the voices of children living with domestic violence

University of Northampton academics visit Italy to present findings of children and domestic abuse project. Further details here.

New Research explores children’s experiences of domestic violence New research reports on the experiences of children in situations of domestic violence and abuse

  • 100 interviews were conducted with children about experiences of domestic violence
  • Focus groups with professionals working with domestic violence and with parents / carers
  • Findings emphasise creative and complex coping strategies in children who live with violence
  • The research includes children from the UK, Greece, Spain and Italy, and was funded by the European Commission (Daphne III)

 

Contact:

Press Officer: Bobbie Lane, University of Northampton – bobbie.lane@northampton.ac.uk

Lead researcher: Jane Callaghan, University of Northampton – jane.callaghan@northampton.ac.uk

Project Website: www.unars.co.uk

Press release: http://www.northampton.ac.uk/news/hearing-the-voices-of-children-living-with-domestic-violence-university-of-northampton-to-host-event-discussing-children-s-resilience-to-abuse

 

The University of Northampton will be hosting a free event on Friday 16 May, to share research into the impact domestic violence has on children.

 

Led by Dr Jane Callaghan from the University's Centre for Children and Youth, Understanding Agency and Resistant Strategies (UNARS) is a two-year research project that has explored how children cope during and after experiencing domestic violence and abuse. The UNARS researchers have been working with Northampton Women's Aid and partners in Italy, Spain and Greece on the project. The project was funded by Daphne III, a European Commission funding stream which focuses on the protection of women, children and young people from forms of violence.

 

Dr Jane Callaghan explained: "This public event will offer us the opportunity to share the findings of the UNARS study with professionals working with children who have experienced domestic violence. As part of this research we have interviewed nearly 100 children, in four European countries. Research that explores domestic violence from the perspective of children affected by it is rare, and we are excited to be able to share our work with people who work with young people, and can have a positive effect on their lives."

Researchers have undertaken one-to-one, semi-structured interviews with the young people, exploring how they coped and what resources (personal, interpersonal, material, and so on) enabled them to be resilient in situations of violence. The research has considered their resilience and positive sense of self, rather than focusing on their roles as victims, witnesses and recipients of abuse. From these interviews it is clear that young people find complex and creative coping strategies in situations of domestic violence. Understanding how these young people cope can offer a positive starting point for helping young people to recover from domestic violence.

The project has also helped young people to 'give voice' to their experiences, even those which might be painful or complex. Researchers have used creative techniques to help the young people to tell their stories, encouraging participants to use different mediums to such as drawing, painting, writing or audio-recording.

 

The event, taking place on Friday 16 May at the Cottesbrooke building, University of Northampton, will include presentations of the work, and discussions inviting attendees to add their input into the project.

 

EU funding for research into domestic violence victims

"UNderstanding Agency and Resistance Strategies: young people living with domestic violence (UNARS)' will be a large multinational project exploring how young people are able to find creative coping strategies and how professionals can best support them.

Report Here.