University of Cumbria recognised in 'UK’s Best Breakthroughs'

University of Cumbria recognised in 'UK’s Best Breakthroughs' name

University of Cumbria research into cases of male domestic abuse is listed in the ‘UK’s Best Breakthroughs’ for having a significant impact on people’s everyday lives.

The list compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities, is part of the ‘MadeAtUni’ campaign launched today. The aim is to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.

Dr Liz Bates from the university’s psychology department is among those listed for pioneering research which investigated the prevalence of male domestic abuse.

It revealed that the extent of abuse suffered by men was far greater than previously thought and that victims were reluctant to ask for help.

Dr Bates is conducting a survey to follow up work carried out last year which resulted in 161 men answering an online survey.

Men in the sample reported experiencing controlling behaviour from their female partners. This included behaviour often reported from women of their male partners, for example using children as a weapon, manipulating or controlling finances and experiencing being isolated from friends and family.

Other results included men reporting cases of verbal, physical and sexual aggression, often making a lasting impact on them physically and psychologically.

“Many men didn't feel they could ask for help or support,” Dr Bates said. “Those who did appeal for support told me the services were geared more towards helping women and they felt they weren’t taken as seriously.”

Dr Bates has contributed written evidence to the recent consultation on the new domestic abuse bill.

The list of breakthroughs demonstrates how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most important discoveries, innovations and social initiatives; from the discovery of penicillin to the establishment of the ‘Living Wage’.

It follows independent research undertaken by Britain Thinks which found that the public has little understanding of the benefits of universities beyond undergraduate teaching. The findings show that research is one of the key triggers to change opinion about universities but for many people, it is an abstract concept.

Professor Julie Mennell, Vice Chancellor, University of Cumbria said: “It is a tremendous achievement for one of our academics to be featured in the UK’s Best Breakthrough list.

"We’re very proud of the work Dr Liz Bates has undertaken, to further understanding and awareness of this kind of domestic abuse, and to support individuals to receive the help they need. This is just one example of the applied research we do at Cumbria, focused on making a positive difference to people, lives and communities.”

She added: “The 'MadeAtUni' campaign is an important initiative, showcasing the significant role and impact our universities have across many fields of practice. We are proud to have been recognised for our work."

“The campaign is an incredibly important initiative for us as it allows students, alumni, the local community and the wider population to understand the work that we do and the impact it has.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, said: “Universities really do transform lives. The technology we use every day, the medicines that save lives, the teachers who inspire – all come from UK universities and the important work being done by academics.

“The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list is a testament to the difference that universities make to people’s lives and we want everyone to join us in celebrating the work they do.”

The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list: 100+ Ways Universities Have Improved Everyday Life was put together in partnership with universities across the UK. As part of the MadeAtUni campaign, every university in the country was invited to nominate the one thing from their institution which they believe has had the biggest impact on people, lives and communities. Over 100 universities submitted a nomination. The entries cover health, technology, environment, family, community and culture and sport.

You can find out more about the UK’s Best Breakthroughs and the MadeAtUni campaign here