Review examining alcohol and Intimate partner violence

A Rapid review by Alcohol Change UK examining the role of alcohol in contributing to intimate partner violence (IPV) has just been published. You can access the review here.  

The review was written by Ms Lisa Jones, Ms Hannah Grey, Ms Nadia Butler, Dr Zara Quigg and Professor Harry Sumnall, (Liverpool John Moores University), and Dr Gail Gilchrist, (King’s College London). It highlights the need for interventions to address IPV perpetration by men accessing treatment for alcohol use. This is the focus of a NIHR funded research programme, ADVANCE led by Gail Gilchrist, one of co-authors.

A further blog post by the Alcohol review team can be found here. 



New resource about domestic abuse for mental health services

Over the past year, the Section of Women’s Mental Health at King’s College London have been developing an online online resource about domestic abuse for mental health professionals and services. This resource, dubbed “LARA-VP”, has now been published online and is available to download for free using the link on the left click here

The LARA-VP resource is an update of a resource developed for the original LARA domestic abuse intervention for mental health services. It has been informed by recent evidence and clinical guidelines, as well as feedback from relevant stakeholders including academics, clinicians, survivors, and third sector professionals. It contains content on how to identify and respond to survivors, perpetrators, and any children affected by domestic abuse.

Now that it is published, we would be grateful if you could all share this resource widely within your networks: it is licensed for unrestricted use in non-profit and healthcare settings, and contains editable boxes to add in details about local services and contacts.

If any of you have any questions or feedback about this resource, please don’t hesitate to contact Emma Yapp at:

Article by Rachel Jewkes on the relationship between poverty and IPV

The open democracy website has published an article by Rachel Jewkes that highlights the interaction between poverty and IPV. She points to projects in Tajikistan and South Africa aimed at providing women and girls with the means to start businesses to ease family poverty or delay dating – which have led to positive outcomes reducing the risk of IPV.

Rachel has led research on violence against women at the South African Medical Research Council for over two decades. She is the director of the UK Department for International Development-funded “What works to prevent violence against women and girls?” global programme.

Through the course of the programme, the percentage of women reporting intimate partner violence halved. Food insecurity for women reduced by two-thirds, and the proportion of women earning money increased fourfold. Meanwhile, reports of depression in women nearly halved and depression in men more than halved.

You can access the article here.

New resource launched to support women experiencing domestic violence

women speak out

Dr Emma Watson Head for the Centre for Gender and Violence research has co-led a project that includes over 30 audio interviews with women describing domestic abuse. She says “Personal stories open a ‘window’ into real-life experiences, providing insight to others. We are extremely grateful to the women who chose to speak out about their experiences of domestic violence and abuse. Although speaking about these experiences can be difficult, the women wanted to help others in similar situations and to let friends, family and professionals know how best to help if they think a woman is being abused.’

The accounts document different types of abuse including physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse. The women are from a range of different cultural backgrounds and are aged between 20 – 62. Their accounts also focus on cohersive controlling behaviour and the importance of making a safety plan when preparing to leave abusive relationships.

Please find more information about this resource here.

Paper published on results of pilot training on domestic violence and child safeguarding for GPs

centre bristol logo

Dr Natalia Lewis, Research Fellow, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

GPs provide health care for multiple members of the same family including victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and their children. Children’s exposure to domestic violence can cause harm, yet many clinicians remain uncertain of their responsibilities towards child patients in cases of domestic violence. To address such professional uncertainty, a multidisciplinary research team developed and piloted an evidence-based training on domestic violence and child safeguarding for general practice – RESPONDS

An overview, training pack and publications related to RESPONDS are available here

You can download the full text paper here

Researchers piloted the RESPONDS training with 88 clinicians in 11 GP practices in the south of England and the Midlands. Evaluation of the pilot training through 37 repeated questionnaires, 15 interviews and 11 observations produced mixed results. On one hand, the training was well received; clinicians’ knowledge and confidence/self-efficacy regarding domestic violence and child safeguarding improved post-training. On the other hand, beliefs and attitudes of some clinicians remained unchanged. Evidence of a change in clinical practice was rare, but one GP reported increased confidence in ‘discussing this with children, you know, being able to ask them how it was affecting them’. There could be varied reasons for such mixed results, including the limitations of the scope of pilot training and of the study methods.

Participants suggested improvements to the training, such as using more socially diverse scenarios and discussing cases of families with multiple needs. Training participants also suggested addressing multi-agency work in the context of changing and under-resourced referral services.

The authors conclude that the development and piloting of this evidence-based training is a crucial first step towards strengthening the response to all family members experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence and their children. They also argue that the RESPONDS training requires further refinement, integration with existing training on general practice response to domestic violence, and more rigorous evaluation. The development and testing of such an integrated general practice-based domestic violence intervention is underway as part of the REPROVIDE programme

Please find details of the REPROVIDE programme here

Related outputs

Why GPs need training about domestic violence and children: you can access a blog discussing this topic here

Call for national guidance to help GPs document domestic violence: you can access here

General practice clinicians’ perspectives on involving and supporting children and adult perpetrators in families experiencing domestic violence and abuse. You can download this paper here


The RESPONDS project is independent research commissioned and funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme (Bridging the Knowledge and Practice Gap between Domestic Violence and Child Safeguarding: Developing Policy and Training for General Practice, 115/0003). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Department of Health.

Paper on Reconsidering Perpetrator Typologies by Professor David Gadd

boys to men projboys to men collab

Practitioners working with men who are violent towards women will routinely encounter men who claim the causes of their behaviour are unique or specific to a relationship that has gone wrong. Such claims must be treated with caution and read against the backcloth of victim testimonies that reveal a continuum of violence in very many women’s lives. But neither can they be dismissed outright as there is ample evidence of diversity among perpetrator populations in terms of the intentions behind their violence, the pattern it takes, and the life circumstances that have led up to it.

Typological approaches to domestic violence have been developed in large part to assist practitioners identify differences in their client groups and to help them find ways to target their interventions to better effect. Two approaches have predominated in the literature. The first might be considered a typology of violent scenarios and is most associated with Michael Johnson’s (2006) book; the second is a typology of abusive personality types and is most closely associated with the work of Amy Holtzworth-Munroe and her collaborators (Holtzworth-Munroe & Stuart, 1994; Holzworth-Munroe and Meehan; Holzworth-Munroe et al, 2000). The first approach differentiates between violence that is ‘Situational Couple’ or ‘Separation-Instigated’ – neither of which are said to implicate gendered power differentials – and Coercively Controlling ‘Intimate Terrorism’ and ‘Violent Resistance’ – both of which do. The second approach differentiates between perpetrators classified as 1) ‘Family-Only’ 2) ‘Dysphoric-Borderline’ and 3) ‘Generally Violent-Antisocial’. Some commentators suggest that the personality types can be mapped onto the violent scenarios: the violence of family-only batterers is more sporadic and context-specific and hence typically ‘situational couple’ or ‘separation-instigated’, while dysphoric-borderline and violent-antisocial batterers frequently engage in severe forms of violence, often for reasons that are underpinned by misogynistic,  conservative or patriarchal values articulated as jealousy or authoritarianism (Holtzworth-Munroe and Meehan, 2004; Dixon and Browne, 2003).

What is less often acknowledged, however, is that to make the typologies work around a third of participants have to remain unclassified (Johnson et al. 2006; Holtzworth-Munroe et al., 2000). Those in the unclassified groups are more likely to be young adults – the section of the population survey research consistently shows to perpetrate the most disproportionate amount of domestic violence relative to other age bands, as well as the age band most likely to report having been assaulted by a partner themselves (ONS, 2014). Of course, younger male perpetrators also have more opportunity to move on, do things different and hence to change, whether for better or for worse, than men with long histories of abuse, damaged relationships and/or criminal records. For this reason, we need to be careful not to over-reify the ‘types’ found in typologies. Indeed, it is logical to expect personalities to change in the aftermath of violence, separation and/or the stigma of becoming known as a perpetrator to the police, one’s friends, family or children. In such circumstances, some perpetrators will become more paranoid, ashamed, depressed, and drink or drug dependent. This can lead some to become more controlling as they coerce others into keeping the violence secret. Others will recognise that they have a problem, or be supported in doing so when the violence or other problematic features of their lives come to someone else’s attention, when their partner leaves or seeks support herself, or when they enter a new relationship and become fearful of messing it up. Practitioners need therefore to be alive to the different meanings violence can have for men who use it and how these meanings can change – or be changed – during the course of tragic incidents as well as afterwards when the behaviour is brought to light and opportunities to talk about it present themselves. Often the meaning of men’s violence will allude simple classification and will not always be fully understood by perpetrators themselves, especially when there has been explosive or sudden rage as a response to something hurtful that has been said or thought. In such instances, domestic violence needs careful interpretation, informed by what is said about what happened, knowledge of the relationship history and of the perpetrator’s biography. This is something we attempted in the From Boys to Men Project and in our book Young Men and Domestic Abuse. It is also illustrated in the free to access paper.

pic typologies blog


Gadd, D. & Corr, M-L. (2017) ‘Beyond Typologies: Foregrounding Meaning and Motive in Domestic Violence Perpetration’ Deviant Behavior

Gadd, D., Fox, C., Corr, M-L., Butler, I. and Alger, S. (2015) Young Men and Domestic Abuse. London: Routedge.

Holtzworth-Munroe, A. (2000) Typology of Men Who Are Violent Toward Their Female Partners: Making Sense of the Heterogeneity in Husband Violence. Current Directions in Psychological Science 9(4): 140-143.

Holtzworth-Munroe, A., Meehan, J. C., Herron, K., Rehman, U., & Stuart, G. L. (2000) Testing the Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart (1994) batterer typology. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(6): 1000–1019.

Holtzworth-Munroe, A and Meehan, J. (2004) Typologies of Men Who Are Maritally Violent Scientific and Clinical Implications. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(12): 1369-1389.

Holtzworth-Munroe, A. and Stuart, G. (1994) Typologies of Male Batterers. Psychological Bulletin, 16(3): 476-497.

Johnson, M. (2006). A Typology of Domestic Violence. Boston: New University Press.

Johnson, R. Gilchrist, E. Beech, A., Weston, S., Takriti, R., and Freeman, R. (2006) Psychometric Typology of U.K. Domestic Violence Offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 21(10):1270-85.

ONS (2014) ‘Chapter 4 – Intimate Personal Violence and Partner Abuse’ Crime Statistics, Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2012/13, London: ONS.

AVA and AGENDA European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction report on health and social responses to drug problems

AVA AGENDA iop report


Agenda and Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) have recently published a literature review on what constitutes a gender sensitive service for women experiencing multiple disadvantage exploring some of the key components from a range of sources across both the grey and peer reviewed literature. Following in the footsteps of the the report ‘Women and Girls at risk: evidence across the life course’ (McNeish & Scott 2014), the review is now being used to undertake a national mapping of gender sensitive services in order to build a better picture of service delivery for women with experiences of multiple forms of disadvantage.

Agenda is an alliance of over 70 organisations who have come to gather to campaign for better services for women facing multiple disadvantage such as problematic substance use, mental ill-health, homelessness and violence. AVA is a national organisation working to end all forms of gender based violence  through the production of resources, learning, policy, research and prevention work. Further information about their work can be found online  and

You can download the report here


Sentencing for stalking is being increased in the UK from 5 – 10 years


alc review spec issue

A recent paper from Gilchrist and colleagues on “Controlling behaviours and technology facilitated stalking reported by men receiving treatment for substance use in England and Brazil” has recently been published in Drug and Alcohol Review highlighting the prevalence of such behaviours. In 2015, in the UK, the Serious Crime Act (2015) established a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in intimate or familiar relationships, carrying a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a fine or both. In January, the Ministry of Justice announced that the maximum prison sentence for stalking is to be doubled to 10 years.

To read the full paper by Gilchrist and colleagues please click here.

Special issue on Intimate Partner Violence by Drug and Alcohol Review

 alc review spec issue

A Special Issue on Intimate partner violence and substance misuse has just been published by Drug and Alcohol Review edited by Dr Gail Gilchrist (King’s College London) and Professor Kelsey Hegarty (University of Melbourne)  

Download papers here  

“This special issue provides commentaries, debate, reviews and primary research that contribute to our understanding of the role of alcohol and other drugs in intimate partner and dating violence, and desistance from violence; that identify the pathways to and factors associated with different types of IPV; and that offer solutions for responding to IPV among people who use substances. The series emphasises the urgent need for tailored integrated interventions to address different types of IPV among substance users”

Paper published on controlling behaviours linked to UK policy

The UK government has now included controlling behaviour and coercive control as offences in its Violence against Women and Girls Strategy VAWG.

Within controlling behaviours, Technology Facilitated Abuse (TFA) is also thought to be widespread with mobile technologies providing a means for perpetrators to easily and repeatedly control, harass, stalk and intimidate partners from a distance.

alc review spec issue

This paper provides evidence of controlling behaviours and TFA amongst men attending substance use treatment in England and Brazil. In secondary analysis of two cross sectionals studies, a significant proportion of men receiving treatment for substance use reported perpetrating controlling behaviours (64% in England and 65% in Brazil) and TFA (33% in England and 20% in Brazil) towards their current/most recent partner. The paper argues that further research is needed to consider the extent to which substance use intoxication and related behaviours (craving, purchasing and sharing substances) may make controlling behaviours more likely amongst substance users and that controlling behaviours and TFA should be included in interventions to address IPV perpetration in this population.

You can download this paper here