I am interested in the impact that domestic violence and abuse (DVA) has on health and wellbeing, and the responses of professionals, in health and specialist organisations, to those in abusive relationships, their childern, and those informally supporting survivors (friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues).
In 2014 I completed a PhD ('On the outside looking in: the shared burden of domestic violence') which explored the radiating impacts of DVA. This research considered how the health and wellbeing of informal supporters was being impacted. I have since been funded by the NIHR SPCR (Primary Care Scientist Launching Fellowship) and the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute (Early Career Research Fellowship) to take this work forward. This includes exploring the avenues for support which could be developed to help informal supporters help-seek and self-care, so that they in turn might be better equipped to support survivors. I also co-lead the VOICES study which is funded by the NIHR SPCR to investigate how children exposed to DVA are impacted.
Because of the practical nature of this work I have a strong interest in knowledge mobilsation, and I work closely with DVA specialist organisations, and with commisioners of DVA services within local authorities, CCGs and police forces across the UK. In particular, my PhD work informed a public health campaign run in Bristol during 2015 ('It might be nothing, but it could mean everything'). In November 2015 I won the Corinna Seith Young Scholar Award for my work in this field.
After graduating from the University of Reading in 1995 (Maths and Psychology) I worked for several years as the Research Co-ordinator for the Scientific Investigations department within Avon & Somerset Constabulary and in a variety of managerial roles in the NHS. In 2007 I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling, and concurrently joined the Academic Unit of Primary Healthcare at the University of Bristol as a Research Associate. I was awarded my PhD in 2014, and am now funded by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute on an Early Career Fellowship . Alongside my research, I continue to volunteer as a counsellor for survivors of domestic violence and abuse.
Alison contributes to the 4th year medical students' lecture on domestic violence and abuse, and regularly supervises students undertaking relevant research projects as a student selected component. She is also a facilitator on the 'Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods' short course run by the School of Social and Community Medicine
Since joining the Academic Unit of Primary Healthcare in 2007, I have been working alongside Professor Gene Feder on the IRIS research trial, which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a training intervention for GPs and practice nurses in order to increase the identification and subsequent recording of domestic violence in the patient's medical record.
View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system
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