Supporting survivors of sexual violence

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The PROSPER study: suPporting Role Of SPecialist sERvices

A mixed methods, co-research study of the role, funding and commissioning of specialist services provided by the voluntary sector in England.

This is the first national study of voluntary sector services for survivors in England. It will take three years and look at how to improve the delivery and funding of these services. This will have benefits for survivors by helping to meet their needs and identify any gaps in provision. It will help funders to improve how they go about working together to fund these services.

This project is funded by NIHR

Key researchers

Dr Caroline Bradbury-JonesDr Caroline Bradbury-Jones, 

Chief Investigator

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What will this study involve?

There are two stages to the project:

""Stage 1

two national surveys to identify what services are provided in England and how they are planned and funded. Focus groups with survivors, providers and funders will test out what should be in the surveys. National policy leads and national organisations supporting survivors will also be interviewed.

Stage 2

will study four parts of the country in more detail. The results from stage 1 will be used to pick four locations that offer different types of service. In these four areas there will be interviews with survivors, staff and funders to find out: what services exist; how survivors find their way to different services; what is valued about these services; what gaps there are; and how well funders work together to fund the services

We will use results from Stages 1 and 2 to provide knowledge about how services are planned and provided across the country. We will make recommendations about how the planning, funding and provision of services can be improved in future. Results will be publicised through good practice guides, regional events, a webinar, plain English summaries, a policy briefing and academic articles.

Working with survivors

Survivors’ experiences feed into all stages of the work through an independent panel run by the Survivors’ Trust. Survivors are on the research team and four co-researchers will be employed as part of the research team, helping to plan the study, interview survivors and interpret findings. An Advisory Group of national experts will guide the study.

Interested in taking part?

Stage 1a: Survey development - interviews with providers and commissioners and focus groups with survivors

From December 2019 – March 2020, we will be designing and developing the national provider and commissioner surveys. We will be carrying out three focus groups with survivors (one with adult women, adult men and young women aged 16 and 17 years old).

We will also be carrying out telephone interviews with providers and commissioners, working in the voluntary and statutory sector, exploring their views about how services are provided, how they work together and to what extent current provision meets survivors’ needs. If you have knowledge or expertise in this area, please do get in touch. Contact Dr Clare Gunby (tel: 0121 414 3345) or Dr Louise Isham (tel: 0121 414 8591) to find out more.

Meet the team


Dr Caroline Bradbury-Jones


 Research fellows

 Study manager

  • Mrs Pamela Nayyar

Please contact the study's research fellows for more details:

Dr Clare Gunby 0121 414 3345 and Dr Louise Isham 0121 414 8591