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Research priorities for the intersections between violence against children and violence against women

 The SVRI  UNICEF Innocenti, and the Special Programme on Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) hosted by WHO are joining efforts to develop global research priorities on the intersections between VAW and VAC. This research agenda will contribute to building knowledge in a more systematic way, ensure that research efforts make the best use of limited resources, and serve to monitor progress over time. A consultative, inclusive process among VAW and VAC stakeholders will identify areas where research can enhance coordination, alignment and consistency to address the intersections in innovative and effective ways.
If you would like to join the Global Stakeholders, please sign up and we will include you in the database. All are welcomeThe SVRI  UNICEF Innocenti, and the Special Programme on Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) hosted by WHO are joining efforts to develop global research priorities on the intersections between VAW and VAC. This research agenda will contribute to building knowledge in a more systematic way, ensure that research efforts make the best use of limited resources, and serve to monitor progress over time. A consultative, inclusive process among VAW and VAC stakeholders will identify areas where research can enhance coordination, alignment and consistency to address the intersections in innovative and effective ways.
If you would like to join the Global Stakeholders, please sign up and we will include you in the database. 

The 14th United Nations Crime and Justice Congress, Kyoto 2021

Agenda for Global Action: Rehabilitative Communities and Volunteers

Once every five years, the “world’s largest and most diverse gathering of policy-makers, practitioners, academia, intergovernmental organizations and civil society in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice” comes together at the United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Held this year from March 7th to 12th in Kyoto, Japan, the event has taken place since 1955. This year’s event, postponed from 2020 due to the world-wide pandemic, was held for the first time in hybrid format. 5,000 participants joined from all over world: 152 Member States were represented, together with 37 intergovernmental organizations, 114 non-governmental organizations, 600 individual experts, and several UN entities and institutes. 




Research and analysis: Examination of the links between parental conflict and substance misuse and the impacts on children’s outcomes

Published 6 April 2021

Executive Summary

This report is a literature review examining the links between parental conflict and substance misuse and the impacts on children’s outcomes. Three sections investigate:

  1. The impact of parental conflict and substance misuse on children
  2. Interventions for addressing parental substance misuse and conflict and their relative effectiveness
  3. What characteristics of effective practice can be identified across interventions?

In addition, the review identifies where gaps exist in the evidence base and where these may need to be supplemented for the UK context.


Understanding the impact of parental conflict and substance misuse on children

The review finds that there is consistent evidence of an association between substance misuse and parental conflict. Some studies point to this association being causal. Most longitudinal studies support the view that substance misuse increases the incidence of parental conflict though there are other studies that highlight how parental conflict can lead to substance misuse. In all cases there is less evidence regarding the mechanism by which one leads to the other and how it interacts with other stressors. The relationship is likely to be complex.

The nature of the negative outcomes for children in families experiencing both substance misuse and parental conflict appears to be the same as for those in families experiencing either substance misuse or parental conflict alone, i.e. mainly externalising or internalising behaviours. There is, however, consistent evidence that children affected by both parental substance misuse and conflict are more at risk of presenting these behaviours. A number of other stressors (including housing, financial instability, crime, schooling or parental mental health) can act cumulatively to increase a child’s risk of negative outcomes.

Interventions addressing parental substance misuse and conflict and their relative effectiveness

The review identified few interventions explicitly aimed at tackling both substance misuse and parental conflict.

There is consistent evidence that behavioural couple’s therapy (BCT) results in a greater and longer-lasting reduction in substance use than individual behavioural therapy, and also improves relationship satisfaction and functioning in intact couples. There is also some evidence that BCT can improve outcomes for the couple’s children.

There is some evidence that the involvement of the whole family in substance misuse treatment can increase treatment engagement rates and lead to greater reductions in substance misuse than treatment delivered to the individual alone. There is more mixed evidence for the effectiveness of whole-family interventions on family functioning and there remains a lack of evidence regarding what form of family involvement is most effective.

The review identified that interventions often helped to develop the following set of skills in parents and children:

  • helping parents to take responsibility for their actions and to understand the impact of their actions on their families
  • improving communication between a couple and within the family as a whole
  • skills training focused on emotional coping strategies, both to manage triggers to substance use and to improve parenting practices and conflict management

The development of these skills was shown by studies to help improve outcomes relating to substance use, parental conflict, parenting practices and child development simultaneously.

Characteristics of effective practice

While successful interventions take many forms, and there are no definitive rules for ‘what works’, this review highlighted a number of considerations and common themes relating to design and delivery which influence the effectiveness of interventions. Principal themes drawn out in this review were: timing and sequencing, engagement and retention, socio-demographic characteristics of the target group, intensity and length of intervention, format of intervention, techniques employed and multi-agency working.


This research was commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions. 


Caitlin Hogan-Lloyd

Colin Horswell

Suzie Langdon-Shreeve

Joining forces to develop a research agenda on intersections of violence against children and violence against women

Aník Gevers, Elizabeth Dartnall, Alessandra Guedes, and Claudia García

(8 April 2021)  There is growing global recognition of the intersections between violence against women and violence against children. Currently there is insufficient interaction between these fields, and evidence on interventions to address these linkages is limited. It is vital to identify knowledge/evidence gaps to address the intersections of these two forms of violence in order to strengthen prevention and response programming to achieve the best outcomes for both women and children. 

To address this need, the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI),  UNICEF Innocenti, and the Special Programme on Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) hosted by WHO are joining efforts to develop a global research agenda on the intersections between violence against women and violence against children. The new research agenda will contribute to building knowledge in a more systematic way, ensure that research efforts make the best use of limited resources, and serve to monitor progress over time. It will also inform the implementation of the multiagency RESPECT Women and INSPIRE frameworks, support UNICEF's commitment to respond to the gender dimensions of violence, SRVI Grant-making and promote coherence in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

Historically, research agendas have been largely driven by researchers with limited input from other stakeholders. To promote participation and minimize the risks of bias, we are proposing to adapt the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative method and use online surveys and meetings to reach a wide group of stakeholders. SVRI, UNICEF Innocenti and WHO/HRP together make up the Coordinating Group which will implement this effort. An Advisory Group will help develop the framework and provide technical input and guidance throughout the process. Finally, a broad group of Global Stakeholders – including researchers, advocates, policy-makers, and practitioners representing different countries, settings, disciplines and areas of focus – will provide inputs and promote dissemination and implementation of the final research agenda widely.

WHO: A global knowledge platform for preventing violence

The Violence Prevention Information System (Violence Info) collates published scientific information on the main types of interpersonal violence. This includes information on prevalence, consequences, risk factors, and prevention and response strategies. It also describes what countries report about their actions to address violence. This version contains most of the major features, but remains a work in progress with more studies to be added. User feedback is welcome, including suggestions for features and additional studies, provided they meet the inclusion criteria

ISSUP: INEP Plus Opens the Door to Prevention

"The Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice (INEP) is a ten-session online course to introduce the key principles of substance use prevention. It was written and developed by Charles University (CUNI) in Prague. Offered as a “self-taught” programme by CUNI, ISSUP felt that there would be added value if the Course could be offered to new learners facilitated by National Chapters. This, ISSUP proposed, would allow sharing and discussion of the issues raised during the Course and ensure there could be appropriate support to the learning and understanding of what are likely to be new and complex issues. This is particularly relevant as the target group the Course was prepared for is those new to the issue of prevention.

In collaboration with Charles University, ISSUP has therefore offered the “INEP Plus” pilot programme to its National Chapters. This has involved ISSUP providing a six-week online training of National Chapter “facilitators of INEP Plus”. Working with National Chapter Trainers who have met the ISSUP trainer criteria there are now 40 trained facilitators from 22 ISSUP National Chapters who are in a position to provide a pilot of INEP Plus in their own countries over the next few months. This online course will be offered through 12 training sessions with course work in between the virtual or face to face weekly meetings. Following the pilot both the training courses and the course content will be reviewed and refined.

The feedback received from ISSUP’s National Chapters and from those trained as facilitators by ISSUP Global provide interesting food for thought.  Two key points emerge from the trainee’s feedback. The first reflection is that there is a real need for prevention training and support material for those working at the practice level within their communities such as ISSUP’s National Chapters. There has been little to enable “opening the door” to prevention and provide a “beginner’s” introduction to this vital field of work.

The second comment is that INEP Plus is responding to this need and the training support offered through the “Plus” of INEP is very important, if not vital. to ensure the door opens in the right direction.

The other dilemma of opening doors is that once opened there has to be something in the room to make the door opening worthwhile and able to provide new and better rooms and contents to explore. Whilst major initiatives such as the Universal Prevention Curriculum and the European Prevention Curriculum offer that possibility as significant rooms for further professional development in prevention access to those particular rooms once the door has opened remains difficult for many. Better and more access points to encourage professional development in prevention seem to be a major need. If this is not provided the danger is that the door will be shut and only becomes more difficult to open a second time round.

So, major positive developments are reported for INEP Plus but, as always, offering new challenges! INEP Plus appears to be providing a major contribution to professional development in prevention. As a result of ISSUP’s pilot of INEP Plus there is likely to be a further 400 people introduced to a better understanding of evidence-based prevention. The challenge is how, when and what we can offer to those 400 people in the next stage of their prevention journey through the newly opened door."

Jeff Lee, Senior Consultant, ISSUP

April 2021

EU Strategy to tackle Organised Crime 2021-2025

Brussels, 14.4.2021


Introduction Hidden from public view due to the opaque nature of its activities, organised crime is a significant threat to European citizens, business, and state institutions, as well as to the economy as a whole. As highlighted in the latest European Union Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (2021 EU SOCTA)1 , organised crime groups are present across all Member States. The organised crime landscape is characterised by a networked environment where cooperation between criminals is fluid, systematic and driven by a profitoriented focus. Organised crime groups use their large illegal profits to infiltrate the licit economy and public institutions, including via corruption, eroding the rule of law and fundamental rights and undermining people’s right to safety as well as their trust in public authorities. Criminal revenues in the nine main criminal markets in the European Union amounted to €139 billion in 20192 , corresponding to 1% of the Union’s Gross Domestic Product. As underlined in the Security Union Strategy 3 , action taken at EU level to support Member States in the fight against organised crime must be continued and enhanced. The complexity of the business model of organised crime groups was, in particular, exposed in 2020 in the joint investigation, led by French and Dutch authorities with the support of Europol and Eurojust, to dismantle EncroChat, an encrypted phone network widely used by criminal networks. The EncroChat case has so far led to more than 1,800 arrests and more than 1,500 new investigations. In addition, it displayed the extent to which organised crime groups operate transnationally and online across all criminal markets in a networked environment, using increasingly sophisticated modi operandi and new technologies. In March 2021, another joint operation following the cracking of Sky ECC, an encrypted network to which many former EncroChat users had migrated, led to the prevention of more than 70 violent incidents, the seizure of more than 28 tons of drug substances and the arrest of more than 80 suspects involved in organised crime and drugs trafficking in Belgium and the Netherlands. More than 400 new investigations against high risk organised crime groups have been initiated. The use of violence by criminals involved in organised crime is on the rise in the EU, as is the threat from violent incidents due to the frequent use of firearms or explosives in public spaces4 . The agility of organised crime groups to adapt to and capitalise on the changes in the environment where they operate was confirmed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Criminal 1 Europol, 2021 European Union Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (EU SOCTA), 12 April 2021, EU SOCTA is a comprehensive organised crime threat analysis identifying high priority crime areas produced every four years by Europol, on the basis of Member States’ contributions. 2 Illicit drugs, trafficking in human beings, smuggling of migrants, fraud (MTIC fraud, IPR infringements, food fraud), environmental crime (illicit waste and illicit wildlife), illicit firearms, illicit tobacco, cybercrime activities, organised property crime – Study on Mapping the risk of serious and organised crime infiltration in legitimate businesses, March 2021, DR0221244ENN, 3 Commission Communication on the EU Security Union Strategy, COM(2020) 605 final, 24.7.2020. 4 Europol, 2021 EU Serious and Organised Threat Assessment Report (EU SOCTA), 12 April 2021, groups have exploited the pandemic to expand online crime activities5 and to engage in fraud including in counterfeit medical products. The sustained high demand for Covid-19 vaccines makes for an attractive pursuit for criminals seeking to engage in the production and supply of counterfeit vaccines or in fraud schemes targeting individuals or public authorities. EU governments have so far detected attempts of scams and fake offers by fraudsters trying to sell over 1.1 billion vaccine doses for a total price of over €15.4 billion6 . The economic crisis resulting from the pandemic increases the risks of organised crime activities and that these further infiltrate society and the economy. The transnational threats and evolving modi operandi of organised crime groups operating offline and online call for a coordinated, more targeted and adapted response. While national authorities operating on the ground are on the frontline in the fight against organised crime, action at Union level and global partnerships are paramount to ensure effective cooperation as well as information and knowledge exchange among national authorities, supported by a common criminal law framework and effective financial means. Furthermore, organised crime is emblematic of the link between internal and external security. International engagement on countering organised crime, including further steps to develop partnerships and cooperation with countries in the immediate neighbourhood and beyond, is needed to address this transnational challenge. Both the European Parliament7 and the Council8 have stressed that organised crime causes enormous damage and highlighted the importance of strong EU action to counter all forms of organised criminal activity. This Strategy builds on past achievements, identifies priority work strands to better protect citizens and the economy from organised crime groups and puts forward concrete medium and long-term actions, which will be developed in full respect of fundamental rights. It constitutes the first dedicated Strategy on organised crime since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty9 . 5 In an international operation supported by Europol and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) between March and December 2020, law enforcement authorities of 19 Member States and eight third countries seized almost 33 million fake medical devices, including face masks, tests and diagnosis kits, 8 tonnes of raw materials and 70 000 litres of hygiene sanitizers. 6 Information reported by governmental authorities to OLAF. Law enforcement authorities together with Europol and OLAF are cooperating to thwart these attempted frauds. 7 In October 2016, the European Parliament, adopted also a report specifically focussing on the fight against corruption, 8 Council Conclusions on Internal Security and European Police Partnership, 13083/1/20 REV 1, 24 November 2020. 9 Organised Crime has been a priority of the EU since the middle of the 1990s, as shown in the Tampere Programme (that launched the first multi-annual strategic objectives of the EU in the field of Justice and Home Affairs and the subsequent multi-annual programmes on Justice and Home Affairs, such as the 2004 Hague Programme, the 2009 Stockholm Programme, the 2015 EU Agenda on Security, and the recently adopted 2020 EU Security Union Strategy. The last dedicated strategy on organised crime dates from 2005,


AIC: The criminal career trajectories of domestic violence offenders

Dowling C, Boxall H & Morgan A 2021. The criminal career trajectories of domestic violence offenders. Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 624. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.



This study examines the officially recorded criminal careers of 2,076 domestic violence offenders and 9,925 non-domestic violence offenders in New South Wales in the 10 years following their first police proceeding.

Group-based trajectory modelling was used to examine both domestic violence and non-domestic violence offending. Special attention is given to the degree of versatility in offending, and to the interplay of domestic violence and non-domestic violence offending trajectories.

Domestic violence offending often formed part of a broader pattern of offending. While trajectories of low‑frequency domestic violence and non-domestic violence offending were most common, domestic violence typically increases as non-domestic violence offences begin to decline. Importantly, there was variability in the offending profiles of domestic violence offenders. This was amplified when non-domestic violence offending was analysed, indicative of a complex array of underlying risk factors.


The virtual conference will comprise a number of plenary presentations and workshops from both public and private perspectives on the challenges and possible solutions of using technologies in corrections.

Over the course of the event, participants will have the opportunity to interact and contribute during workshops and to network and discuss issues in detail. Participants will also learn more about some of the present offerings from leading technology providers in the field.


Download (pdf)

Online European conference on preventing polarisation and violent radicalisation: How to strengthen resilience



Six European projects on the prevention of polarisation and radicalisation, among which the Efus-led Bridge project, are jointly organising an online conference on 26-29 April 2021.

> Efus will moderate a workshop on 28 April: City-Based Approaches II: Assessing, Preventing and Mitigating Polarisation (Simultaneous interpretation French).

In the framework of this workshop municipalities and experts will present innovative methods and tools to assess and diagnose polarisation and provide examples of tailor-made activities to mitigate or prevent polarisation at the local level.

Participants :

  • Departmental Council of Val d’Oise (FR)
  • City of Rotterdam (NL)
  • City of Stuttgart (DE)
  • City of Leuven (BE)
  • Patricia Andrews Fearon (University of Cambridge)


>>> Registration <<<




European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug

28.Apr..2021 12:00 PM in London

Prevention practice in Europe does not always keep pace with advances in prevention science, and available guidance, standards and registries of evidence-based interventions are not always sufficient to change policymakers’ funding decisions. This webinar aims to raise awareness on the role of the EUPC in advocating for the application of science-based strategies in decision-making at local level. The EUPC includes training for Decision-, Opinion-, and Policy-makers (DOPs) on how to prioritise evidence-based interventions and policies and on how to advocate for them. This represents a paradigm shift from offering guidance (‘let things happen’) to actively promoting change in decision-making (‘make things happen’). Speakers and stakeholders from Belgium, Germany, Estonia and Croatia will gather in conversation around this topic.

Context: This event is the third in a new wave of webinars from the European Monitorin Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)  being offered in 2021. EMCDDA webinars are designed to give a voice to professionals working in the drugs field and are conceived as conversations around key topics of interest and emerging challenges, as well as a means to build relations with potential or future stakeholders. The 2021 programme of webinars follows a testing phase in 2020, which saw seven COVID-19-related webinars rolled out between May and December. Chaired by EMCDDA staff members, the webinars are open to professionals working in the drugs field and other individuals with an interest in the topic.


  • Maximilian von Heyden: Finder Institute for Prevention Research, Germany
  • Triin Vilms: National Institute for Health Development, TAI, Estonia

Invited stakeholders:

  • Law enforcement — Ivan Paksic: Ministry of Internal Affairs, Croatia
  • Education system — Cynthia Deman: Centre for Mental Health Care Waas en Dender, Belgium
  • Local policymaking — Frederick Groeger-Roth: Lower-Saxony Ministry of Justice, Germany

Chairpersons: Marica Ferri and Gregor Burkhart, EMCDDA

Opening and closing remarks: Alexis Goosdeel, EMCDDA Director

Format: EMCDDA opening remarks, two presentations (20 minutes in total), three panellists (question-guided discussion), Q&A from attendees.

Platform: Zoom

Participants: The webinar is open to all and will be of particular interest to anyone involved in planning, preparing or implementing prevention programmes in Europe.

Register for the webinar here.