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Interview on ‘Now and Men’ podcast

What impact does domestic abuse have on boys when growing up? Why is it that so many young men who are ‘on-road’ or involved in gangs have experienced domestic abuse in the home as children? If the boundaries between being a ‘perpetrator’ and a ‘victim’ of violence are not always as clear cut as we…

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Reflections on the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s response to the Serious Violence Duty Consultation

The response from the office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, Nicole Jacobs, to the Government consultation on the Statutory Guidance on the Serious Violence Duty is very much worth reading (Link here). It makes a clear case for the inclusion of domestic abuse in the definition of serious violence for duty…

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Book Publication Day!

Today my first book is being published by Policy Press. It is quite something to have been working on the project for the last five years in research terms and then see it come out in print. You can order a copy here. If you sign up to the Policy Press newsletter you can recieve…

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A feminist reading of UCU’s 4 fights

Pay The first fight is around pay. Real time pay has dropped Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), show that the pay of staff has dropped by around 17% in real-terms since 2009. The union says that staff pay has actually fallen by around 20% in the last decade. This has coincided with the largest period…

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Some recent writing

I have been a busy bee recently. Writing has more been about disseminating some things I have been mulling over, but if you are interested here are some bits and pieces that have been published this month. Music elicitation was featured in the Sociological Review in their month on innovative methods. This was fun to…

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Call for Evidence submission: Commission on Young Lives 2021

Dr Jade Levell Lecturer in Criminology and Gender Violence Centre for Gender and Violence Research, School for Policy Studies University of Bristol Jade.Levell@Bristol.ac.uk Call for Evidence submission: Commission on Young Lives 2021 My research has focused on the issue of young people who experience domestic violence and abuse (DVA) in childhood and who later become…

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The Commission on Young Lives: The ‘conveyer belt from vulnerable children’ to ‘criminal gangs’…

Last week saw the press release for the launch of the Commission on Young Lives (Link here). Led by Anne Longfield, the former children’s commissioner, it aims to focus on the pathway of school exclusion, grooming, and county lines involvement for many vulnerable young people. I was thrilled to see the several mentions, in the…

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Responding to the VAWG strategy linking DVA & ‘County Lines’

I have finally had chance to look through the UK Governments new ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’ Strategy; Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls. (Link here). One very interesting passage which is relevant to my research on boys who experience domestic abuse in childhood and later go on-road or become ‘gang’ involved was the explicit…

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Music Elicitation in Practice; ‘Never coming home’

I have recently carried out a training session to a diverse audience- social researchers, social workers, NGOs, international development workers. The subject of the session was ‘Music Elicitation as a Listening Tool’ and I spoke broadly about the benefits of the method as a way to listen to vulnerable or marginalised people. I keep talking…

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Reflections on the Serious Case Review of ‘Liam’

This week I have spent time reading the serious case review of ‘Liam’, a 17-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in 2020. The report by Southampton Safeguarding Children Partnership has just been released. You can read the report here, and associated media article here. When reading it I was struck by how similar the…

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Reflections on Ian Wright’s Home truths Documentary

I have finally caught up with Ian Wright’s documentary ‘Home Truths”. This documentary was ground-breaking in so many ways. It raised issues that are historic taboos and also refocuses us on what it really means to be an adult survivor of childhood abuse. What it mean to recognise your own childhood victimhood and the enduring…

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A book is on its way….

I have some really amazing news to share with you! I have connected with a publisher (Bristol University Policy Press) and I will be writing my first book next year. The book will be based on my PhD thesis, where I explored the narratives of men who experienced both childhood domestic violence/abuse and on-road and…

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Older Boys and DVA Refuges: Shut out

Today I wanted to write a response to the new Women’s Aid report which outlines the barriers that children face when accessing refuge provision. You can access a copy here. This was a very welcome report in that it gives voice to children and young people themselves about their difficult experiences leaving homes and localities…

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Online Survey for Survivors of Domestic Abuse

A research team across Bournemouth University (Dept of Social Sciences (Criminology), Dept of Social Work, Dept of Psychology) are conducting research on interventions for domestic violence and abuse perpetrators. As part of the data collection we are looking for survivors of domestic abuse to complete a short anonymous survey which focuses in particular on their…

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New co-authored report with the Victim’s Commissioner

I am delighted to say that I have co-authored a report with the Office of the Victim’s Commissioner which was released yesterday. I presented my research to the team back in autumn and they started their own work looking at the intersection between childhood experience of domestic abuse and later on-road/gang-involvement. I am really pleased…

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PhD Parenting- My Top 10 Tips

Now that I have submitted my thesis I have been reflecting on the journey. During my studies I have greedily read through every type of blog post and guide which outlines others experiences of PhD parenting and made me feel it was all possible. So I thought now is a good time to contibute and…

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Delivering a lecture on my research in prison

Studying at The Open University is an amazing thing in so many ways. I love its flexibility, its lack of dogma around getting the top grades, and its general lack of snobbery and inaccessibility. An element of the OU which I only recently found out about is that the OU has a lot of students…

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Publication: A methodological reflection on the use of music as an elicitation tool

The first publication from The Road Home Study has been published this month. It is a methodological reflection of the use of music in narrative interviews. It is an open access paper, so free for all to view. Take a look here https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1609406919852010 Whilst thinking about publishing and sharing this, my thoughts have been with…

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Sons of Domestic Abuse

Today there has been a potentially big breakthrough in terms of domestic violence and the legal position of victims in the UK. Sally Challen, who was convicted of murdering her husband, has had permission for a retrial. The case for this was due to the change in UK law, with the significant change of coercive…

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Documentary Review: Gun No. 6

Gun No. 6 is a documentary with a difference. It was a moving, powerful, heart-breaking, raw, multi-faceted film which showed the ripples of pain that emanate from gun crime. The premise of the film is to trace back the story of ‘gun No.6’, so called by the police as it is one firearm which has…

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Sharing music and understanding

It has been quite a long time since I have written here as I have been deep in the fieldwork stage of the project. Locating men who want to meet and talk about both domestic violence and gang involvement is tricky to say the least. It has been compounded by the pressures on front-line organisations…

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Going up river…

Today I have spent the day making a short film about my research. The filming was funded by the OU Health and Wellbeing Priority Research Area, who also fund my research. It was a short film looking at my research as well as my academic and personal pathway. During the filming they kept asking me…

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Searching for the story behind the ‘absent fathers’

One thing I have noticed when reading research and media reports on gangs is the ubiquitous mention of a dad-gap; ‘absent fathers’. They are often cited as a contributory reason for young people joining gangs, who then search for replacements to the illusive ‘strong male role models’ to provide discipline, an example, a substitute family.…

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Why #TheRoadHome study?

Welcome to my first ever blog post! When thinking where to begin, I thought that I would share where the idea for #TheRoadHome study came from. Like most big projects it evolved from tiny little ideas that found their way together. I have always taken an interest in the experiences and treatment of children who…

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