I am currently a Lecturer in Criminology and Gender Violence at Bristol University, part of the Gender and Violence Research Centre. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Previously I have taught at the University of Southampton and Bournemouth University. I am on the editorial board of the Journal of Gender Based Violence and a board member of Working with Pepretrators Europe (WWP-EN).
My research focuses on gender; gender-based violence, in particular domestic violence, as well as gender theory including studies of masculinities. Research interests include on-road and gang subcultures, Connell’s masculinity theory and analytic frame, music elicitation, narrative methods, feminist praxis. My work has often centred on the intersection between masculinity, vulnerability, and violence. I use music elicitation as a research tool and strongly advocate for the use of music as a way to communicate, co-produce research, and engage with marginalised groups.
At present I am the Principle Investigator for the UK arm of an international study into domestic violence perpetrator inteventions. I am leading a team of five academics at Bournemouth University across Depts of Criminology, Dept of Social Work, Dept of Psychology. We coordinated international fieldwork in the form of focus groups with practitioners, interviews with perpetrators, and a victim survey. This has been funded by the European Commission from 2020-2022 and involves partners in UK, Greece, Italy, Romania, and Cyprus.
My doctoral research was at The Open University. I carried out a narrative study looking at young men who have experienced domestic abuse in childhood and been involved with life on road/in gangs. I used music as an elicitation tool (Desert island discs style) to interview them about their life stories. I am interested in masculinities (and intersecting issues of race and class) and how men and boys survive and cope with violence and abuse.
I am a Gender Studies specialist; I spent the summer in 2019 as a visiting lecturer in Gender Studies at the University of Prishtina, Kosovo. I have an MA(Hons) in Gender Studies and Anthropology from the University of Aberdeen. One year of this degree was studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, through a “Scholarship for Excellence” from the British Council. This enabled both extensive travelling and the chance to focus on international gender issues. I later studied for a Master’s degree in Gender Studies at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
There are many different reasons that I am interested in the topics that I write about.
I have a substantial amount of front-line work experience supporting vulnerable people. For several years I worked in projects supporting sex working/ women involved in prostitution in both a harm minimization project and a court diversion scheme. I also worked in a refuge for women and children fleeing domestic abuse, as well as a rape crisis center. Most recently I held a post coordinating the strategic partnership around domestic violence, children and health in West London. I was also a trustee for my local Women’s Aid for two years.
My research practice (and feminist praxis) is informed by my front-line work experience with vulnerable and marginalised groups.
Underlying this professional and academic work is my own experience of living with domestic abuse in childhood, which is what has inspired my journey into this sector. I am passionate about making a positive impact in the lives of children who have also gone through this experience. I was a finalist for a Women’s Aid/Marie Claire/Avon “Empowering Women” Award 2012 in the category of ‘child survivor of the year’. This was in recognition of my work in the gender-based-violence sector.