On 25th November, the ADVANCE research team at the University of Worcester were excited to launch the ADVANCE programme in conjunction with the ‘16 days of action against gender -based violence’. Prof. Liz Gilchrist introduced the cutting edge programme, talking through the overall project and informing a number of representatives across the West Midlands of the current progress made by the research team. During the session, Liz revealed;
‘that in the light of increasing awareness of the complexity and scale of intimate partner abuse across the UK, the ADVANCE study is a real opportunity to explore one of the most common factors linked with intimate partner abuse, substance use; and explore the processes by which this contributes to risk and impact, and explore how increased knowledge around the interplay between these two factors might enable us to deliver interventions that are more effective than our previous versions, and which fit with a move to holistic interventions delivered in line with our knowledge of what works in terms of therapeutic skills and alliance.’
After a great response, many of those attending the event, (from a number of organisations including ANAWIM, AQUARIUS, Richmond Fellowship, Worcester County Council, a number of West Midlands based NHS Trusts, and Warwickshire and West Mercia Police), stayed for an information session regarding the Leaning Alliance being established alongside this programme. In short, it was explained how the West Midlands Learning Alliance will enable organisations and frontline staff members to have an input into the programme, sharing their experiences and thoughts with others to ensure the formation of a robust programme. Finally, to end a very informative and productive day, the research team met with a number of members from local sites interested in participating in this research and the first wave of data collection. Throughout the day, the enthusiasm for the programme from those attending was great, leaving the researchers excited for the next stages of the programme.