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In this survey we want to talk to you about how we can support older people who are struggling with relationship difficulties.  We are asking older people in the general population about this, to try to understand how we can change services to make them more appropriate and accessible for older people. In particular, we would like you to think about situations where you have known or worried that someone was using abuse in their relationship with a partner or spouse.  We'd like to understand how you think  we might help older people when violence or abuse takes place in a relationship. 

Most services that try to help people who want to stop using abusive or controlling behaviour in relationships focus on younger adults. We want to understand if there are different needs for older people, and how we can adapt our services, and how people access those services, to make them more suitable for older people. 

Most services that support people who want to stop using controlling or abusive behaviours in their relationships focus 

Who are we? 

We are Jane Callaghan and Joanne Alexander, researchers at the University of Stirling.  We are working with Respect and Women's Aid on their Make a Change programme - a programme for people who use abuse in their intimate relationships, and who want to make changes to their relationships to address these behaviours. Make A Change has been asked to explore adapting the programme for older people.  Although older people are welcome in the current Make a Change programme, there have been questions about whether a specific group for older adults would be more useful.  We would like to invite you to complete this short online survey, exploring your views on this, what some of the challenges might be, and what you think would work well or less well in developing a programme like this.  We would like to reach  representatives of organisations that work with older adults and members of the community to explore their perceptions of older people who use violence, coercion, control or abusive behaviours.  The intention is to use this knowledge to inform the development of a suitable intervention strategy for this group.

Do I have to take part?

No. You do not have to take part and this will not affect you in any way.

If you do decide to take part, you can end the survey at any time during the focus group without needing to explain.

If, after completing the survey, you change your mind and do not want us to include part or all of your statements, that is fine. Just let us know by emailing, within two weeks of filling in the survey. We cannot guarantee that data will be removed after this date, as reports etc may already have been published.

Are there any potential risks in taking part?

We don’t think there are significant risks in taking part in this research.We do not intend to ask you any upsetting questions, but if you do get upset during the interview, please do let the researcher know so that we can discuss how to help.

Are there any benefits in taking part?

There will be no payment for taking part in this project.
We do anticipate that the project will improve future services and support for older people.

Legal basis for processing personal data

As part of the project we will be recording personal data relating to you. This will include you email address and name (so we can contact you), your age, broad occupation (e.g. social care manager, domestic abuse support worker), and your gender.This will be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).Under GDPR the legal basis for processing your personal data will be public interest/the official authority of the University.

What happens to the data I provide?

We will store all your answers, with all identifying information (like names, places, or other identifying detail) removed. Researchers will look at your answers, to see what patterns there are in responses.In reports and articles, we will use direct quotes from survey,  names and identifying information will not be used.
All data will be carefully and privately stored, in either a locked cabinet, or on an encrypted data storage device. Data will be kept securely for a period of 10 years, and then will be destroyed. Information you provide to us will not be told to anyone else, unless you tell us something that makes us worry about your safety, or the safety of another person. If we do need to talk to someone else about a safety concern, we will tell you before we do that.


Will the research be published?

The research will be published in a report to Respect and Women’s Aid, and to the Home Office, and in academic publications (like articles and books). You will not be identifiable in any report/publication. If you would like to receive a copy of the report, please tell the researcher, and she will make sure that it is sent to you when it is completed. Other articles based on the research can also be made available on request.

The University of Stirling is committed to making the outputs of research publicly accessible and supports this commitment through our online open access repository STORRE. Unless funder/publisher requirements prevent us this research will be publicly disseminated through our open access repository.

Who is organising and funding the research?

The Make a Change project is funded by the Home Office, and delivered by Women’s Aid / Respect.

Who has reviewed this research project?

This project has been ethically approved via The University of Stirling (General University Ethics Panel).

Your rights

You have the right to request to see a copy of the information we hold about you and to request corrections or deletions of the information that is no longer required.

You have the right to withdraw from this project at any time without giving reasons and without consequences to you.You also have the right to object to us processing relevant personal data however, please note that once the data are being analysed and/or results published it may not be possible to remove your data from the study.

Who do I contact if I have concerns about this study or I wish to complain?

If you would like to discuss the research with someone you can contact the researchers directly ( or If you would like to complain, please contact the Dean Alison Bowes on

You have the right to lodge a complaint against the University regarding data protection issues with the Information Commissioner’s Office (

The University’s Data Protection Officer is Joanna Morrow, Deputy Secretary.If you have any questions relating to data protection these can be addressed to in the first instance.

You will be given a copy of this information sheet to keep.

Thank you for your participation.