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Social Research

An Evaluation of the 'Access to Justice' Pilot Project

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  • Release date: 20 December 2012
A principal objective of the project was to enable older, vulnerable victims of domestic abuse to access criminal or civil justice processes in seeking protection from further abuse.

The evaluation included analysis of data from case management records, semi structured interviews with managers, practitioners, and older people, a focus group, and police recorded incidents of domestic abuse.


  • A total of 145 separate incidents, involving 131 individual victims, were recorded between 3rd December 2010 and 31st January 2012.  Data was available for 127 victims (in four cases a second victim was identified as being present at the time of the incident).
  • It was evident from the case files that the police responded sensitively and positively to victims of elder abuse.  In some instances, the police paid regular visits to the homes of victims.  These safety checks were considered to have a potential deterrent effect.
  • In terms of consent, options discussed, ‘active engagement’ (i.e. when a victim engages with an agency to which they had been referred) and legal and welfare outcomes, the cases referred to the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference faired very well.
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