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Photo collage of headshots of six researchers

The driving force behind our Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse is to work towards ending violence and abuse across society.

Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread and persistent human rights violations in our world today.

As we mark the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we want to recognise some of our incredible researchers whose work is focused on this.

Dr Hannah Bows

As a professor in criminal law, Hannah conducts research examining different forms of violence against older people, with a specific focus on domestic violence, sexual violence and homicide of older women. She has recently started to examine the criminal justice outcomes, and responses to, crimes involving victims aged 60 and over.

Hannah is also carrying out research looking at sexual violence at music festivals which has shown that the set up and culture of music festivals can create dangerous spaces where sexual violence and harassment can be perpetrated.

Professor Geetanjali Gangoli

Geetanjali from our Department of Sociology works on social and feminist responses to gender-based violence, particularly in relation to India and the UK, making ‘real world’ differences in policy, law and practice.

Her work has been hugely influential in creating much needed changes in responses to forced marriage, honour-based violence, female genital mutilation, and sexual violence in refugee and asylum-seeking communities.

Dr Stephen Burrell

Stephen, who co-hosts the podcast ‘Now and Men’, conducts research in the area of men, masculinities and violence. He has looked at the role all men and boys, including those who would never perpetrate violence, need to play to prevent violence against women.

Linked to this, Stephen has also carried out a study which showed that businesses and organisations need to ensure gender equality and shift masculinised workplace cultures to help prevent men’s violence against women. Outside of academia, he is a trustee of White Ribbon, the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

Dr Nicole Renehan

Nicole has a practice background supporting victims of domestic abuse in a multi-agency child protection setting. She also has many years’ experience working with young men in secure criminal justice settings, and autistic and disabled children and young people with learning difficulties, physical impairments, and severe challenging behaviour.

Nicole’s research is focused on domestic violence perpetrator programmes to understand what might work or not, for whom and under what circumstances. She’s currently specifically exploring how these programmes can work better for autistic men and those with ADHD who are violent and abusive in their intimate relationships.

Professor Clare McGlynn

Over the last 20 years, Clare’s work has influenced and shaped law reform. Her particular expertise is in the legal regulation of pornography, sexual violence and image-based sexual abuse, including taking and sharing intimate images without consent such as ‘upskirting’, deepfakes and cyberflashing.

In 2020, Clare was appointed an Honorary QC in recognition of her work championing women’s equality in the legal profession and shaping new criminal laws on extreme pornography and image-based sexual abuse.

Professor Nicole Westmarland

Nicole started looking at the topic of violence against women when working as a taxi driver to fund her undergraduate degree. Her research on the gendered victimisation of taxi drivers led to a career dedicated to understanding men’s violence against women allied with a strong determination to contribute towards ending it.

As the Director of the Durham Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA), Nicole is also interested in supporting others to create ‘real world’ social change, working alongside grassroots violence against women groups and feminist activists. Her work has won a number of awards internationally, and underpinned changes in both policy and practice.

Find out more