Between 2011 and 2014 Solace conducted a 3 year research project examining how women and children rebuild their lives after domestic violence. This was the first longitudinal study of it’s kind in Europe and the crucial findings were launched in Finding The Costs Of Freedom in June 2014.
Conducted in partnership with the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) at London Metropolitan University, the study tracked 100 women who had accessed one or more of Solace’s services. The research identified that for all the participants, removing themselves from the immediate control of an abusive man was only the first step. Over 90% experienced post-separation abuse, indicating the critical need for specialist support for women in the period after leaving an abusive situation.
The study identified the series of barriers women face in accessing the resources needed to rebuild their lives and how changes in the legal and policy context impacted on them. The findings highlighted that the specialist and holistic service provision at Solace was critical to women being and feeling safe, as well as dealing with the legacies of abuse for themselves and their children.
Based on the research findings a series of key policy recommendations were made. Details are available in the full report Finding The Costs Of Freedom and the Executive Summary. Several briefing papers on the major themes from the research were also developed.