previous projects

Current projects at the Centre examine the following research areas: Intersectionality, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence across the Life Course; Elder Abuse and Justice Mechanisms; the Co-existence Dementia and Domestic Abuse; LGBTQ+ Help-seeking and Help-providing; and Investigating Safeguarding-related Abuse in Care Homes.

The study identified a range of perpetrator behaviours in both intimate partner violence and adult family violence, which outlined the impact of coercive and controlling behaviour on social networks and social supports within the context of dementia. Quality of Life measures were developed to examine changes in victim-survivor throughout their involvement with the Dewis Choice Initiative. For further information about this study, please contact Sarah Wydall at

Funded by The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales

Crimes Against and Abuse of Older People in Wales

One of the primary aims of the study was to explore practitioners’ perceptions of the barriers to help-seeking for victim-survivors of domestic abuse aged 60 years and over. A total of 50 semi-structured interviews were conducted across 21 of 22 local authorities in Wales.


This study was the first in the UK to conduct research across Wales on professionals’ views on help-seeking behaviours of older people. The research also involved examining service user attrition in the referral process from initial engagement to case closure, across social care and criminal justice services in Wales.


One of the key findings from the study is that professionals from the statutory sector feel that connections to the home and social networks strongly influence decision-making for older victim-survivors.

The research report is available here


Two peer reviewed journal articles that relate to this research can be accessed here: Domestic abuse and older people: factors influencing help-seeking (Sarah Wydall & Rebecca Zerk, 2017). Available here


Domestic Abuse and Elder Abuse in Wales: A Tale of Two Initiatives (Sarah Wydall*, Alan Clarke, John Williams and Rebecca Zerk, 2018). Available here

This qualitative study evaluated the multi-agency response to older victim-survivors of elder abuse (all 131 cases examined were domestic abuse). The pilot project was developed in response to Welsh Government’s six-year strategy The Right to Be Safe (Welsh Assembly Government, 2010). The evaluation involved an examination of 131 detailed case studies and analysis of 152 records compiled by practitioners from the police, safeguarding services, hospital, Age Cymru and a General Practitioner.


The research report is available here


Two peer reviewed journal articles were produced from this study. These are:

‘Access to Justice for Victims/Survivors of Elder Abuse: A Qualitative Study (Alan Clarke, John Williams and Sarah Wydall, 2015). Available here


And ‘Protecting older victims of abuse who lack capacity: the role of the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate’ (John Williams, Sarah Wydall and Alan Clarke, 2013). Available here

This three-year study involved a comparative process and outcome evaluation of the ‘The Making Safe Scheme’. The Making Safe programme in North Yorkshire, adopted a coordinated response to domestic violence with a whole family support programme offered to all victims including children, and rehousing perpetrators who were enrolled the IDAP programme. A unique feature of Making Safe was that the intervention enabled victim-survivors to stay in their own homes by finding alternative accommodation for perpetrators. Re-housing perpetrators was provided for a period of up to two years. During this time, adult victims and children received advocacy and counselling support via the Domestic Abuse Services, while male perpetrators were assigned a key worker. In 2008, Making Safe received the Butler Trust Public Protection Award for its innovative work with victims and those sanctioned by the criminal justice system.

A paper was produced from the findings. ‘Creating a safe space?’ (Alan Clarke and Sarah Wydall, 2015). Available Here

The three primary aims of this qualitative research were to: 1) explore how key agencies perceive and respond to the needs of children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse; 2) investigate how domestic violence prevention and recovery work might be tailored to meet the needs of children and young people; 3) review current policy and practices (both formal and informal) aimed at supporting families experiencing domestic abuse particularly those in the women’s refuge and those experiencing homelessness as a result of domestic abuse. The research interviewed parents, young people and practitioners to seek an in-depth understanding of domestic abuse from a child or young person’s perspective.


The research report ‘An evaluation of multi-agency working with children and young people who are experiencing the effects of domestic abuse in the Communities First area of Penparcau and Aberystwyth West’ (Alan Clarke and Sarah Wydall, 2010). Available here

A paper was produced from the findings, ‘From ‘Rights to Action’: practitioners' perceptions of the needs of children experiencing domestic violence’ (Alan Clarke and Sarah Wydall, 2013). Available here