Your voice matters

Elderly woman looks out the window sitting at the table.
Phase I

In-depth interviews with older female victims/survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV)

This phase of the study asks the following questions:

  1. What are the lived experiences of older women living in the context of IPV?
  2. What are older women’s experiences of support services?
  3. How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted upon these experiences?

During this 1st phase of the study, older women are being asked to share their stories of abuse and survivorship.

Recruitment is still ongoing for this phase as we still need to hear the more minoritised voices of older LGBTQ+ women, women from different cultural backgrounds, older old age groups, women with disabilities, carers for the abusive partner or being cared for by an abusive partner.

Interim findings will be published at the end of this phase.

You have been asked to consider participating as you have either lived in an abusive relationship or are still in an abusive relationship with a partner and we would like to hear your story.

You can withdraw from the study without having to give a reason, at any point before, during, and for up to one week after participation after which withdrawal will not be possible because the data will have been collected and analysis started.v

This part of the study would involve you participating in a one-off meeting with me for about an hour (or more if you would like more time). I would like you to tell me your story about what it has been like living in a difficult/abusive relationship.

The meeting can take place either at your home, if this is feasible and safe, or at another place that is convenient for you. Any transport costs will be re-imbursed and refreshments provided. The meeting will need to be audio-recorded so that I am able to listen carefully to your story.

The researcher would also like to access your health and social care records and to sit in and observe any meetings that may be scheduled in relation to your care and support. This is so that I am able to look at how you have been supported through the abuse. You can say no to either of these and still participate in the study. This information will all be anonymised.

The research will be written up into a final report, called a thesis and a summary of the findings may be presented at local events for older people, and/or published in journals used by a variety of interested professionals. 

The study is being conducted by a researcher as part of her PhD. She is also a community nurse, with a special interest in both domestic abuse and issues that face older women. It is being sponsored by Lancaster University and has been through a rigorous approval process by an NHS ethics approval panel.

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. In the UK we follow the GDPR rules and have a law called the Data Protection Act. All research using patient data must follow UK laws and rules.

Universities, NHS organisations and companies may use patient data to do research to make health and care better.

When companies do research to develop new treatments, they need to be able to prove that they need to use patient data for the research, and that they need to do the research to develop new treatments. In legal terms this means that they have a ‘legitimate interest’ in using patient data.

Universities and the NHS are funded from taxes and they are expected to do research as part of their job. They still need to be able to prove that they need to use patient data for the research. In legal terms this means that they use patient data as part of ‘a task in the public interest’.

If they could do the research without using patient data they would not be allowed to get your data.

Researchers must show that their research takes account of the views of patients and ordinary members of the public. They must also show how they protect the privacy of the people who take part. An NHS research ethics committee checks this before the research starts.


If what is said in the interview makes me think that you, or someone else, is at significant risk of harm, I will have to break confidentiality and speak to my supervisors about this. The disclosure will need to be reported to the authorities as per the Adults Safeguarding Policy and you will be signposted to the appropriate support services.

There is the possibility that telling your story may initiate upsetting feelings for you. If this should happen, the researcher can pause the interview at any time or postpone the interview if necessary. There is a list of contact details here where local, specialist support can be sought.  

You also have the option of having a nominated support with you throughout the interview. This can be a family member, friend or supporting professional of your choosing.

You may not derive any benefit from participating in this study. However, you may find it beneficial in some way as you have had an opportunity to reflect upon your experiences with some-one independent of your support network.

Participant Information

Phase I

Consent Form

Phase I