The Violence, Abuse, and Mental Health Network (VAMHN), funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will be hosting three calls for applications for small grants to support research in specific areas, to address identified gaps in knowledge, and to improve the knowledge-base in areas of a new challenge or changing policy and practice.
Each of the three calls (one per year) will be themed: measurement, understanding, and intervention.
- Understanding of the impacts of violence and abuse on victims and survivors, the causal pathways, and what forms effective support should take.
- People with mental health problems are particularly likely to have experienced childhood abuse, to have witnessed parental violence, and, as adults, to have experienced domestic and sexual violence.
- Pathways, mechanisms, and protective factors are unclear, and this Network aims to address these uncertainties. It includes the consequences of technology on the risk of violence and abuse, their impacts on mental health, and how can these be minimized.
- There is a need to identify how survivors define and understand justice. Primary and secondary prevention requires institutional reforms in health, culture, media, technology, and schools as well as strategic planning and specialized support to victims.
- This work must draw on multiple academic disciplines including, psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, primary care, public health, criminology, and the social sciences (e.g. anthropology, geography, history, law, linguistics, politics, sociology).
- The involvement of professionals, practitioners, and policymakers is needed, as is the co-production of knowledge, engagement, and leadership of survivors.
- Grants are available up to a maximum of £25,000 and can be used to deliver a targeted piece of research or to pump-prime larger projects.
The Main Questions
- What are common sources of harm in the interconnected systems encountered by victims and survivors of violence and abuse?
- What are the pathways to experiencing – and/or using – violence and abuse, and their relationship with mental health problems?
- What factors are protective against violence, abuse, and mental health problems across the life course, disaggregated by gender, and which could be potential targets for interventions?
Key Issues for Future Research
- What are the pathways to experiencing – and/or using – violence and abuse?
- What are the associations between the type, severity, and impact of violence and subsequent mental health problems?
- What is the impact of victim-blaming and cultures of disbelief on associations between violence and mental health problems?
- What is the impact of additional forms of discrimination and marginalization on the associations between violence and mental health problems?
- What are survivor-generated definitions of abuse and how can they shape new approaches?
- How can survivors be supported to recognize that what they have experienced or may be experiencing is abuse?
- How can the risk of isolation be reduced for people who have been or are being abused?
- Where are potential sites and sources of healing, and how is healing enabled by professional and system responses?
- Identifying gaps in the field and where the evidence lies.
- What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or related social restrictions on the associations between violence, abuse, and mental health?
- Applications from UK HEIs or recognized ESRC Independent Research Organisations (IROs) in collaboration with non-academic bodies, charities, third sector organizations, and other relevant agencies are welcome to apply.
- Projects co-led by an HEI or IRO in partnership with non-academic groupings are also strongly encouraged, however, due to UKRI funding requirements, funding may only be transferred to the HEI partner/IRO partner.
- They require that the co-applicant team be multi-disciplinary and welcome the inclusion of early career researchers and users/survivors as co-applicants.