The RESPECT Network is established as a result of growing evidence relating to issues associated with healthy relationship behaviours, attitudes and available support for individuals in the North and South or Ireland. To date a growing movement within the USA and the UK, pertaining to the impact of such experiences has become a vocal issue for both academics and policy makers alike.

Group members have recognised the need for good quality research in this area and support for those experiencing difficulties. Working across disciplines and through a committed network, it is hoped to gain a better understanding of relationship behaviours. In doing this, efforts to understand and promote positive experiences as well as reduce negative experiences can be informed by robust research and evidence which can be applied and compared across stakeholders.

The Group strive to be as inclusive as possible and by establishing this network, important information can be shared. This research will support institutions and organisations to develop policies and procedures supporting individuals and families in a wide range of relationship activities including issues associated with sexual behaviours, drug and alcohol consumption and other relevant concerns.

RESPECT researchers are from a variety of disciplines including Psychology, Law and Social Work. Together members of the RESPECT Network will collaborate to design, develop, and implement a variety of research projects with the aim of promoting safe relationships for all. To do this we have three work-streams focusing on complementary but distinct areas; 1. Prevalence, 2. Policy, and 3. Prevention.   


Prevalence –     Assessing to what extent people engage in relationship behaviours that are potentially unhealthy and harmful for themselves and others and what are the standards and expectations around gathering and recording this information for further research. In addition, assessing what increases or decreases the likelihood of these behaviours occurring and the potential outcomes.


Policy – Assessing what policies are currently in place and can be developed in the future to support individuals and families who are exposed to negative physical and sexual experiences and how can stakeholders be supported to provide appropriate and desirable policies in the event of an incident being brought to their attention.


Prevention –     Assessing the effectiveness of current preventative initiatives and working on the development and delivery of workshops and tool kits to promote positive behaviours. In addition, proactively creating and disseminating information to raise awareness of healthy relationships, safe sexual behaviours, active consent and respect, and related behaviours.