Final Report of the Portsmouth Domestic Violence Intervention Project (EIP) Evaluation

August 1, 2004

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This report evaluates an EIP pilot project based in Portsmouth. The aim of the project is to reduce repeat victimisation by providing support and information about the options available to anyone experiencing domestic violence at the point of crisis.

Method:

  • the development of a relational database to monitor and track cases across the service;
  • questionnaires and focus groups with hospital staff in order to evaluate the training that they have received to respond appropriately to domestic violence;
  • focus groups with Project staff to explore issues arising from the implementation of the intervention;
  • structured telephone interviews with multi-agency partners to assess the need for, impact and effectiveness of the Project;
  • questionnaires or telephone interviews with service users to gather information on their use and experience of the Project and other related domestic violence a number of in-depth case studies involving service users, Project staff and any other relevant agencies, which will explore the operation of the Project ‘on the ground’.

Summary of Findings:

Health Professionals;

  • Only a small minority of health staff ‘always’ ask patients about domestic violence. Over three quarters ‘seldom’ or ‘never’ ask; Some staff were making decisions on ‘relevance’ before screening questions;
  • Despite this, the majority say they are ‘comfortable’ or feel ‘ok’ about doing so;
  • Where domestic violence has been disclosed, hospital staff report that it was they who broached the subject, in contrast to service users, who say that they did so;
  • Where disclosure occurs, referral to EIP has become routine;
  • EIP was seen as a useful service by these hospital staff;
  • Hospital staff do not think that the profile of the Project is high enough within the hospitals.

Service Users;

  • Just over half of EIP clients were referred from hospital departments;
  • The overwhelming majority of clients were female, over half aged between 20 and 39 years and were White British. Two thirds have children;
  • 40% had been in a relationship for less than five years;
  • 95% of perpetrators were male;
  • 82 % reported physical violence and for almost two thirds the violence had happened ‘constantly’ or ‘often’, for almost half it had happened throughout the relationship;
  • 30 female clients had experienced violence during pregnancy;
  • Just over one third of clients had experienced post separation violence;
  • The Police had been involved in over three quarters of cases but only a minority (13%) of perpetrators had been subject to a prosecution for a domestic violence related offence;
  • The majority of clients (71%) had between one and five contacts with EIP, however five had been in contact more than 50 times, raising concerns about ‘heavy need’ clients requiring long term support;
  • Almost all clients wanted generalised ‘support’ and ‘information’;
  • There was a very high level of telephone support provided to clients by EIP staff;
  • Referral to other agencies continues to be a major strand of the support provided to clients;
  • The Project appears to have successfully reduced repeat visits to the A&E department for domestic violence related injuries

See Project: Evaluation of the Portsmouth Domestic Violence Early Intervention Project (EIP)

Available from: Child and Women Abuse Studies Unit: FREE , £1.00 p&p.