The Domestic Abuse Stalking and Harassment and Honour-based (DASH) violence risk assessment for police: Analysis of efficacy in practice – MSc by Research in Psychology

Location: Swansea University, Singleton Campus – College of Health and Human Sciences

Annual Stipend: £11,702

Application Deadline: 15th November 2019 (Start date – early January 2020)

Project Description (max 500 words):

Background – The Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour Based Violence (DASH, 2009), Risk Identification Assessment and Management Model was designed to improve police responses to incidents of domestic abuse. However, this model was not firmly based on risk factors that are known to predict either future domestic abuse or deadly violence. Further, there was no piloting of this instrument before its adoption by all 43 police forces throughout England and Wales. More recently there has been some attempt at evaluation. Robinson et al (2016) showed that the use of DASH was rather patchy, with officers often failing to submit the form or altering it after the event. The officers gave great weight to criminal offences committed and any injurie sustained by the victim during the incident in their assessments of risk, rather than adhering to the risk evaluation scheme. The report recommended that a more evidence-based approach is needed and that issues such as coercive control and patterns of abuse need to be better understood in the context of future risk of serious domestic violence and domestic homicide. Nevertheless, the report found widespread support for the use of a formalised scheme for risk assessment from both the police and their partners.

The Current Project – Given the widespread use of DASH within the police force, it is imperative that its efficacy is established. In this study we will use historical data gathered by Dyfed Powys Police to examine which factors within the DASH assessment were predictive of future recorded incidents of domestic abuse, including those of “deadly violence”. From this we can establish: (1) if DASH was predictive of future recorded incidents of domestic abuse, including those of “deadly violence”. From this we can establish: (1) if DASH was predictive of future domestic violence; and (2) which elements of DASH were the most predictive.

The scholar will work with key stakeholders: the vulnerability desk at Dyfed Powys Police, the Probation Service, and the Third Sector (e.g. Calan Domestic Violence Services and Welsh Womens Aid) to evaluate other methodologies of evaluating risk of domestic violence and methods of identifying the presence of coercive control. These methodologies will be triangulated in order to try to improve the reliability and validity of the evaluation and formulation of risk of domestic violence, coercive control, stalking and harassment by front line police officer and their strategic partners.

The research project will provide an opportunity for the successful applicant to work closely with staff working within the Health & Wellbeing Academy (HWA) at Swansea University. The HWA is an award-winning collaboration project between health care and University sectors that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of people in South West Wales by bringing together innovation, education, enterprise and world leading research. We are excited to include research into improved response and intervention for domestic violence and coercive control under our umbrella of services.

 The scholarship offers all eligible participants (student):

  • KESS Scholarship holders do not pay fees
  • A monthly stipend to £11,702 per annum
  • An additional budget to support your research of £3,000 for travel, conference attendance, minor equipment, consumables and training
  • An opportunity to access a suite of higher level skills training & attendance at a residential KESS Grad School
  • A minimum of 30 days a year working with the company partner on their allocated project
  • All participants must complete the KESS Postgraduate Skills Development Award


Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in the undergraduate degree in a closely related subject. They should also be eligible for UK/EU fees (see–advice/fees-and-money/Wales-fee-status for more information. For more information on eligibility criteria please refer to section C of the KESS 2 Participant Proposal From.

How to Apply:

Applicants are strongly advised to contact Prof Nicola Gray regarding information on the area of research by email (

To apply:

  1. Complete the KESS 2 Participant Proposal Form – and return to
  2. Complete the KESS 2 Supplementary form – and return to

You will also need to provide copies of the following documentation:

  • Degree certificate/s
  • Two references*
  • CV
  • English language certificate (if required)
  • All supporting documentation as detailed in Section C of the KESS 2 Participant Proposal Form
  • *The references can take the form of a letter on official headed paper, or via the Universities standard reference form. Alternatively, referees can directly email a reference from their employer email account to Please note that references received via private emails accounts (e.g. Hotmail, yahoo) cannot be accepted.

Please return both application forms and supporting documentation to the KESS office at the address stated on the KESS application form (original ink signatures only)

Application forms may be submitted in Welsh and any application in Welsh will be treated no less favourably than an application received in English.

For other queries, please contact:

 Mandatory text, do not delete:

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the Convergence Area of Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.