A leading centre for research, practice and training on issues of trauma and abuse has moved from Kingston University to Middlesex University further strengthening Middlesex’s research credentials in the areas of criminal justice and health and social care.
The Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS) has conducted research nationally and internationally funded by organisations including the European Union, United Nations, Metropolitan Police, London health trusts and local authorities furthering the understanding of abuse and trauma and its consequences internationally.
Key findings have impacted upon social policy across criminal justice, health and social care practice. For example the findings on online grooming have led to greater understanding of sexual offending and child victimisation, and research with social care agencies to inform critical attachment issues in assessing vulnerability in families and children in care. Another example is research with Guy’s & St Thomas Hospital which has tackled issues of youth violence in south London through innovative youth work based in an accident and emergency department.
CATS is a multidisciplinary team led by two internationally recognised Professors, Julia Davidson in Criminology and Antonia Bifulco in Psychology.
Founded in 2007 the centre was originally located across two university sites – Kingston University and Royal Holloway, University of London.
Professor Julia Davidson said: “Research undertaken has a current applied focus, for example findings from the EU groomers study have shed light upon online offending and child victimisation informing the current debate on the role of organisations such as Microsoft and Google in deterring access to child indecent images, the findings have also informed policy guidelines on sentencing in the sexual abuse area.”
Professor Antonia Bifulco added: “We are delighted to be able to consolidate our team at Middlesex which is rapidly increasing its research profile. CATS aim to undertake excellent research and provide knowledge exchange between the University and professional practice will find new synergies across the academic discipline areas at Middlesex and allow us to expand and develop.”