We are incredibly excited to announce that the VAMHN has secured additional funding from two new sources and will be running for another year! We’re super excited to continue connecting with our amazing members until 2024. Our activities for the VAMHN’s upcoming fifth year will centre around the theme of Coercive Control.
Coercive control sits at the heart of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence, but also plays a central role in many other forms of violence and abuse. Around the world, too little is known about the mechanics and nuances of this highly manipulative form of abuse. Estimates of coercive control have risen year-on-year, with 41,626 offences of coercive control recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2022. However, this figure is a conservative estimate of the problem, given most people do not report their experience to the police.
One of the grants to VAMHN is provided by global business leader, Cristiana Falcone, and her team at the BECS Foundation, which aims to spearhead academic and clinical research into coercive control in the UK. Falcone has 20 years of experience advising global corporations on the boards of Revlon and Viacom, and international governmental organizations including the World Economic Forum. Since 2006, she has served as CEO and trustee of the JMCMRJ Sorrell Foundation, leading transformative global initiatives in health, education and poverty reduction.
Cristiana Falcone commented: ‘Across our global society, domestic abuse is a serious intergenerational issue, and one we have a fundamental duty to address. I am honoured to lend my support to King’s College London and the VAMHN as leading organisations that are committed to enhancing our understanding of the critical early warning signs. My hope is that we can be even better equipped to stop cases of coercive control and domestic abuse in their tracks.’
The other source of funding is from VISION, a UK Prevention Research Partnership consortium, which builds upon and extends our ongoing partnership with them. VISION is a collaboration of epidemiologists, economists, data scientists, criminologists, evaluation experts, psychiatrists and more from multiple universities. Their research brings data together from health and crime surveys, health services, police, solicitors, and third sector domestic and sexual violence specialist services. Together, they aim to improve the measurement of data on violence to influence policy and practice and reduce violence and the health inequalities that result.
Professor Gene Feder, Professor of Primary Health Care at the University of Bristol and director of VISION , commented: ‘The work of VAHMN is closely aligned with VISION's goals of improving measurement of violence and better use of data to prevent and mitigate the harm that violence causes to health and wellbeing. We are particularly keen to support VAHMN's pioneering engagement with survivors of violence in co-producing research and to bring that engagement into VISION's research programme.’
Professor Helen Fisher, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at King’s College London and co-leader of the Network, commented: ‘Coercive control and domestic abuse are critical social issues which demand truly pro-active, interdisciplinary action. We believe strongly in the potential of the pioneering research that those with lived experience, researchers, clinicians, and other members of the VAMHN are leading, and are extremely thankful for the support of advocates such as Cristiana and the VISION UKPRP consortium, which is essential to progress this vital work.’
Over the next year, the VAMHN will continue to run the platforms and activities you’ve been engaging with over the past 4 years, as well as developing some new opportunities for all our members to get involved with. Some of the upcoming activities we’ve got planned include:
There will be loads of exciting opportunities for get involved with our upcoming activities this year, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated through our newsletter and twitter account.