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                               PARTICIPANT INFORMATION SHEET

Study Title: Investigation of the association between current relationships, self-compassion, emotion regulation and traumatic stress in people with a history of domestic violence

We would like to invite you to take part in a research study that will explore how you generally feel in close relationships, treat yourself in difficult times, experience and regulate your emotions and how these influences your responses to domestic violence. Before you decide, we would like you to understand why the research is being done and what it involves for you. Please take time to read the following information carefully and ask any questions you may have before deciding whether to take part. You may email the researcher directly if you have questions using the email address provided at the bottom of this page.

What is the purpose of this study?

This study is interested in understanding your general feelings about close relationships, your typical acts toward yourself in times of failure and difficulty, different ways of managing emotions and your responses to domestic violence. In particular, we will investigate whether there is a relationship between how you generally experience relationships, not just in what is happening in current relationships (e.g., with romantic partners, close friends, or family members), the ways you usually relate yourself in difficult or distressing situations and the ways you experience and regulate emotions and symptoms of traumatic stress (e.g., trouble concentrating, sadness, nightmares, increased startle response etc). The findings of this research may inform the clinical interventions to help other individuals affected by similar situations.

Why have I been invited?

You have been invited because perhaps you have been contacted through a support organization that has agreed or invited you to take part in this research. Alternatively, you might have seen the study's advert/post on social media coincidentally. You might be a person who aged 18 or older, has experienced of any type of domestic violence once or more. We are inviting people of any gender (female, male or other) like you to take part in this study.

Do I have to take part?

Participation in this study is entirely voluntary and please be assured that you are under no obligation to take part. You will be asked to provide your consent on the next page of the survey, and your submission of the completed online survey will indicate your consent to take part in this study. You may change your mind about being involved at any time or decline to answer any question in the questionnaires without providing us with a reason. You are free to withdraw at any point before or during the study without giving a reason, by doing so will not result in any negative consequences. Participation or non-participation is confidential, any organisations that you are a part of or that you might have been invited through will not know if you have chosen to participate or not as the survey is anonymous and as such participation in this study will not affect any relationships that you may have with communities or services that you are involved in.You can also request for your data to be removed from analysis up until the point where we delete any identifier and email information (within one-year of your participation), to ensure data are fully anonymised.  

What will I be asked to do?

If you choose to take part, first you will be asked to read and sign a consent form. Then, you will be asked to create a unique identifier number to protect anonymity. This is followed by asking you to answer demographic questions (e.g., age, gender). You will then be asked to complete questionnaires about your general feelings in close relationships, including the extent to which you feel very comfortable being close to other people, how much you are kind and understanding to yourself when confronted with personal failings, and your responses to a very stressful experience, including how much you were bothered by repeated dreams of the stressful experience. Lastly, other questionnaires ask about thoughts such as “I have thoughts that I cannot stop”, experiences that you may have in your daily life, such as “some people have the experience of feeling that their body does not seem to belong to them”. Completing the forms and questionnaires will last approximately 25 minutes. You will then be entered into a prize draw to win one of five £10 Amazon vouchers. At the end of the questionnaires, you will be asked if you would like to leave your details to participate in a second stage of the study, that will include an interview to ask you about your experiences in more detail. 

What will happen to the information I provide?

Unless you decide to leave your contact details at the end, you will not provide any personally identifiable information in this online survey.Instead, you will create an identification number, assuring that your responses will remain anonymous. The only people who will have access to the data from the study will be the primary researcher and the three supervisors. If external researchers request access to the anonymised data, we will take careful guidance from the University Information Compliance Office in order to ensure adherence to correct procedure and permissions. For participants who do provide contact details for a further interview, these details will be kept securely on a password protected database and will only be seen by the research team. If you have completed and submitted an anonymous questionnaire and you decide to withdraw your data, please email the named researcher on the email given below stating your unique identifier, which you will write in the next page of the survey. Once the study is completed, the results will be prepared for publication in academic journals and may be presented as a paper at conferences. If you would like to learn about a summary of the results, please email the researcher Sema Altuntas ( for a copy.

Are there any possible disadvantages or risks in taking part?

Please note that the questions will cover some sensitive topics such as your history of being in a violent relationship, how comfortable you are now in close relationships and your experience of distressing symptoms such as anxiety, flashbacks or disturbed sleep. There is a potential for participants to feel distressed due to the nature of the questionnaires included in the study. However, should you have concerns about any issues you would like to discuss with a trained professional, please contact your GP or the Samaritans emotional support service on 116 123. The Samaritans helpline is open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week and you can also visit the website at . Alternatively, you can access following Domestic violence support services via calling their helpline or visiting their website at any time for National Domestic Violence helpline on 0808 2000 247 ( or Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327, which is open Monday to Friday in between 9 am to 8 pm ( 


How will your data be used and stored?

We will follow ethical and legal practice and all information will be handled in confidence. Under UK Data Protection laws the University is the Data Controller (legally responsible for the data security) and the Chief Investigator of this study (named below) is the Data Custodian (manages access to the data). This means we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. Your rights to access, change or move your information are limited as we need to manage your information in specific ways to comply with certain laws and for the research to be reliable and accurate. To safeguard your rights we will use the minimum personally – identifiable information possible. You can find out more about how we use your information and to read our privacy notice at: 

We would like your permission to use anonymised data in future studies, and to share our research data (e.g. in online databases) with other researchers in other Universities and organisations both inside and outside the European Union. This would be used for research in health and social care. Sharing research data is important to allow peer scrutiny, re-use (and therefore avoiding duplication of research) and to understand the bigger picture in particular areas of research. All personal information that could identify you will be removed or changed before information is shared with other researchers or results are made public. The data collected for the study will be looked at and stored by authorised persons from the University of Nottingham who are organising the research. They may also be looked at by authorised people from regulatory organisations to check that the study is being carried out correctly. All will have a duty of confidentiality to you as a research participant and we will do our best to meet this duty. At the end of the project, all raw data will be kept securely by the University under the terms of its data protection policy after which it will be disposed of securely. The data will not be kept elsewhere. “We believe there are no known risks associated with this research study; however, as with any online activity the risk of a breach is always possible.  We will do everything possible to ensure your answers in this study will remain anonymous.”

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask. We can be contacted before and after your participation at the email addresses below.

What if there is a problem?

If you have any queries or complaints, please contact the student’s supervisor in the first instance. If this does not resolve your query, please write to the Administrator to the Division of Psychiatry & Applied Psychology’s Research Ethics Sub-Committee who will pass your query to the Chair of the Committee. If you remain unhappy and wish to complain formally, you should then contact the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Ethics Committee Administrator, Faculty Hub, Medicine and Health Sciences, E41, E Floor, Medical School, Queen’s Medical Centre Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham, NG7 2UH or via E-mail:

Contact for Further Information                  

Researcher: Sema Altuntas,

Supervisors: Dr Mark Hudson, 

Prof Thomas Schroder,

Dr Nigel Hunt,

   Ethics Reference Number 2728                                              

                                                               Thank you for reading this information sheet.