Since 2014, The Buzzz have been involved with understanding the needs of victims of crime. We have looked at this from an evaluative assessment of service design and delivery for organisations tasked with helping victims recover; tracked the emotional journeys of victims through the ‘cope and recovery’ process and helped to design service delivery around emotional touchpoints when victims need support most.

This year we have been given the opportunity to explore the needs of one of the fastest growing areas of crime in the UK – that is the epidemic of Domestic Abuse. Specifically, we are exploring the reasons why reporting rates of domestic abuse in rural areas are half the level of urban areas – despite the incidence rates being broadly the same. The work commissioned by the National Rural Crime Network is one of the largest research projects of it’s kind, thanks to the involvement of 7 different police areas who cover substantial rural areas.

During a comprehensive review of published research, we found a simple reference point which defined Domestic Abuse differently after looking at parallels from studies into how terrorism works. This struck a powerful emotional chord because the use of fear to control and subjugate others is exactly how abusers work. It is about finding pressure points and unexpected times to strike. With repetition, the victim becomes worn down and does not know how to act or reach out for help. In many respects they can become helpless since to find the support they need, the victim has to acknowledge what they are facing and then be brave enough to act. In rural areas where resources for help are fewer in number and further away – this may be harder to achieve.

This project will take several months to complete and we are working with a number of our valued Network Partners to fulfil our commitment to talk to victims, survivors, case workers and providers of support. We hope that we will make a significant contribution to what is becoming a war on terror!

We hope to share our insights towards the end of 2018.