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Talking Research

Author: Asmita Sood

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Talking Research features in-depth interviews with prominent academics and researchers who study sexual violence across disciplines. The aim is to make academic knowledge and research on sexual violence accessible. Every other Wednesday, guests talk about their research, their findings, the process, the challenges and everything else in between.

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34 Episodes
Dr Melanie O'Brien is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia and an award winning teacher of International Humanitarian Law and Legal Research. Her research examines the connection between human rights and the genocide process; and sexual and gender-based crimes and against women in conflict zones. She has conducted fieldwork and research across six continents. In this conversation, she shared her research on Research Discussed:
Dr Sameena Mulla is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at Marquette University. She is the author of the Violence of Care: Rape Victims, Forensic Nurses and Sexual Assault Intervention. Her work broadly theorises the gendered regimes of sexual assault intervention that emerge among the state and sexual assault survivors in the contemporary USA. In this episode, Sameena shared her work on forensic interventions for sexual assaults, how they are failing to do justice to victim-survivors and how they can be improved. Research Discussed:
Dr Chloë Kennedy is a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law at the University of Edinburgh. Her main research interests are criminal law, legal theory, legal history, and the relationship between these areas. Her research also focuses on law and gender and law and religion. Chloë is undertaking an AHRC research leader fellowship on identity deception, focussing in particular on inducing intimacy. In this conversation, Chloë shared her research on deceptive sex, what it is, what forms it takes, debates around its criminalisation and the framework she has devised for its criminalisation. Research Discussed:
Samantha Freeman is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University's Screen Cultures programme and holds dual certificates in Teaching and Gender & Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation traces how television has represented sexual violence since the 1950s, with a particular focus on the medium's narrative conventions and aesthetics. In this conversation, we spoke about tv representation in the 1950s, two contemporary shows Unbelievable and I May Destroy You, how representations of sexual assaults in tv shows can be improved, and other themes. Research Discussed:
Dr Gemma Hamilton is a lecturer in criminology and justice studies at RMIT University. Her research focuses on violence against women and children, with expertise on policing, family violence, sexual offending and forensic interviewing. In 2016, she won a prize for her phD research that focused on improving investigative interviews with Australian Aboriginal children in cases of sexual abuse. In this conversation, Gemma shared her research on improving police attitudes, forensic interviews. Research discussed : Tidmarsh, P., Hamilton, G. and Sharman, S.J., 2020. Changing Police Officers’ Attitudes in Sexual Offense Cases: A 12-Month Follow-Up Study. Criminal Justice and Behavior, p.0093854820921201.
Erin O'Callaghan is a Phd Candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, US. Her dissertation will be a mixed methods study of survivors of sexual assault involving substance use at the time of the assault, in addition to investigating survivors' pleasurable and/or wanted experiences. In this conversation, Erin expanded on these topics. Research Discussed: Ullman, S.E., O’Callaghan, E. and Lorenz, K., 2019. Women’s experiences of impairment and incapacitation during alcohol/drug-related sexual assaults: Toward a survivor-informed approach to measurement. Archives of sexual behavior, 48(7), pp.2105-2116.
Dr Jane Meyrick is a Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology at the University of West England, Bristol. She is qualified as a Chartered Health Psychologist and is a Public Health Specialist. She has worked at policy and service levels on sexual health for the last 20 years and leads on sexual health, sexual and reproductive rights/violence. She also co-leads the research on sexual abuse/violence at UWE, Bristol. In this conversation, Jane shared her forthcoming research on the prevalence of sexual abuse at universities and experiences of survivors with reporting procedures at universities. She explained the various ways universities can 'earn' disclosures from survivors.
Dr Rachel Simon-Kumar is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Her key areas of research are in women's studies and public policy. Her research interests lie in the intersections of gender, ethnicity and policy, in the context of Aoetaora/New Zealand as well as the geopolitical south, particularly India. In this conversation, Rachel shared her research on under-reporting in ethnic minorities in NZ, the factors behind it, how this can be remedied, and more. Research Discussed: Setayesh Rahmanipour, Shannon Kumar & Rachel Simon-Kumar (2019): Underreporting sexual violence among ‘ethnic’ migrant women: perspectives from Aotearoa/New Zealand, Culture, Health & Sexuality, DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2018.1519120
Riya Singh is a part of Core Leadership Group in India's single and largest Dalit women collective, Dalit Women Fight. She works on ground with the survivors of caste atrocities of Dalit community in five states of northern India. She is also a PhD scholar at Ambedkar University Delhi and her research focuses on atrocities and the Scheduled Castes - Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act In this conversation, Riya shared her work and research on combating caste atrocities including sexual violence against Dalit women. More info on Dalit Women Fight:
Dr Rachel Lovell is a Research Assistant Professor at the Begun Centre of Violence Prevention Research and Education at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a Sociologist and methodologist who works with law-enforcement, community based agencies and public systems to examine the impact of violent behaviour that is primarily directed at women and girls. In this conversation, Rachel shared her research on rape kits and how they can be used to identify serial rapists. Research discussed: Lovell, R., Luminais, M., Flannery, D.J., Overman, L., Huang, D., Walker, T. and Clark, D.R., 2017. Offending patterns for serial sex offenders identified via the DNA testing of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits. Journal of criminal justice, 52, pp.68-78.
Thomas Kadri is an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law and a Mellon Fellow at Yale Law School, where he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Law. He is currently working on the rise of digital abuse and how people are using networked technologies to engage in harassment, stalking, privacy invasions, and surveillance. In this conversation, Thomas shared his research on digital abuse, how tech companies can be more mindful of digital abuse facilitated by their platforms and how they can foster a more empathetic response to it. Research discussed:
Stephanie Bonnes is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven. She received a PhD in sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2018. Her scholarship broadly focuses on gender and racial inequality at the intersections of victimization, identity, and organizations. In this conversation, Stephanie shared her work researching sexual harassment faced by servicewomen in the US military, bureaucratic harassment, how institutional sexism and racism intersect with sexual harassment in the institution among other things. Research discussed: Bonnes, Stephanie. (2017). "The Bureaucratic Harassment of U.S. Servicewomen." Gender & Society vol. 31, no. 6: 804-829.
Dr Anna Bull is Senior Lecturer in sociology at the University of Portsmouth, and co-founder of The 1752 Group, a research and lobby organisation working to address staff sexual misconduct in higher education. Her research interests include class and gender inequalities in classical music education; and staff sexual misconduct in higher education. Anna has published her research in leading sociology and music education journals. She was academic advisor to the National Union of Students for their recent report Power in the Academy: staff sexual misconduct in UK higher education and was lead author on The 1752 Group’s report Silencing students: institutional responses to staff sexual misconduct in higher education (Links below) In this conversation, Anna spoke about these two studies, the findings from these and some recommendations for improving institutional responses to staff sexual misconduct and more. Research Discussed: Silencing Students study: Sector guidance to address staff sexual misconduct in higher education (March 2020): Other relevant research:
Dr Laura Lammasniemi is an Assistant Professor at Warwick Law School. Laura’s principal research interests lie in the areas of criminal law, gender, and class. She has been awarded the Leverhulme Fellow for 2020-2021. Previously, Laura has published on the history of regulation of human trafficking; and on gender, austerity and social welfare. In this conversation, Laura talks about her research on the history of consent law in England, specifically about the Consent Law Amendment Act that raised the age of consent for girls from 13 to 16. Research Discussed: Lammasniemi, L., 2020. “Precocious Girls”: Age of Consent, Class and Family in Late Nineteenth-Century England. Law and History Review, 38(1), pp.241-266.
Karen Boyle is Professor of Feminist Media Studies at the University of Stratchclyde. Karen’s research has long focused on questions of violence, gender and representation and she has published widely in this area, including in the monograph Media & Violence: Gendering the Debate (Sage 2005), as editor of Everyday Pornography (Routledge 2010) and her most recent book #MeToo, Feminism and Weinstein. In this conversation, we spoke about Karen's work on the trial reporting guidelines (link below) for more responsible coverage of sexual assault trials, the role of media in shaping opinions, how we can push for better coverage of rape cases and more. Discussed in the episode Trial Reporting Guidelines: Karen's free Gender and the Media online course: Book- #MeToo, Feminism and Weinstein: Zero Tolerance Guidelines: Women's Aid 1000 words Project: Deborah Cameron's blog Language a Feminist Guide:
Dr. Sreeparna Chattopadhyay is an Indian researcher, temporarily based in the Netherlands. She's currently building a course commissioned by the WHO on Gender, Intersectionality and Health Systems. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology and the Population Studies Training Centre at Brown University and a B.A. in Economics (Honours) from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay. Her research in the last fifteen years has focused on the ways in which gender disadvantages interact with socioeconomic inequities, shaping women’s life trajectories including impacts on health, education and exposure to violence. Her work has been supported by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. In 2018, she was invited to present her research in a seminar on marital rape organized by the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, sponsored by the Vera Campbell Foundation. Her research has been published in several reputed international and national journals and has also been covered by the national press in India, as well as internationally by the BBC. Beyond traditional academia, Sreeparna has experience working in research and policy for the government and for non-profit organisations in India and abroad and writes often for the popular media. In this conversation, we spoke about Sreeparna's research on sexual coercion and rape in marriage, specifically about health systems' response to marital rape in India and more broadly sexual coercion and gendered violence in India. Research Discussed: Chattopadhyay, Sreeparna. "The responses of health systems to marital sexual violence–A perspective from Southern India." Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma 28, no. 1 (2019): 47-67.
Dr Stephen Burrell is an Assistant Professor (Research) in the Department of Sociology at Durham University. He completed his PhD on engaging men and boys in the prevention of men's violence against women in England in the Department of Sociology at Durham University in 2019. He is now undertaking an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department. This is building on his PhD research by exploring opportunities for the business sector to contribute to preventing violence against women and encouraging men and boys to play a role in such efforts. In this conversation, we spoke about Stephen's work exploring the history of men's involvement with feminist movements focused at ending men's violence against women, the importance and risks of engaging men in these movements and what we can all do to challenge inequalities. Stephen also explained strategies of engaging men and boys better in movements aimed at preventing me's violence against women, pro-feminism and concepts such as the 'pedestal-effect'. Research Discussed: Burrell, S.R. (2020). Male agents of change and disassociating from the problem in the prevention of violence against women. In Masculine Power and Gender Equality: Masculinities as Change Agents. Luyt, R. & Starck, K. Cham: Springer. 35-54.
Dr Bianca Fileborn is a Lecturer in Criminology, School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. In particular, her current work focuses on sexual violence and harassment. She is also interested in concepts of justice, and particularly informal, innovative, and transformative justice. Dr Fileborn is currently an ARC DECRA recipient. Her project examines concepts of justice and justice responses to street harassment. Dr Fileborn is also currently involved in collaborative projects examining sexual violence at Australian music festivals, and young LGBTIQ+ people's involvement in family violence. Dr Fileborn's recent work includes: an examination of unwanted sexual attention and sexual violence in licensed venues; experiences, impacts and justice responses to street harassment; the use of research in law reform; sexuality and ageing; policing and LGBTIQ+ young people; and, the sexual assault of older women. She currently sits on the Victorian government taskforce on Sexual Harassment and Assault in Live Music Venues, and leads the working group convened as part of this taskforce. Dr Fileborn has published widely in leading criminological and other journals, including: the British Journal of Criminology; Trauma, Violence and Abuse; Gender, Place and Culture; Archives of Sexual Behavior; and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. Her sole-authored monograph 'Reclaiming the Night-Time Economy: Unwanted Sexual Attention in Pubs and Clubs' was published by Palgrave in 2016, and she is the co-editor of the recently published collection '#MeToo and the politics of social change'. She also writes regularly for public forums such as The Conversation, and has published in The Daily Life. In this conversation we spoke about her research focusing on sexual harassment at music festivals, what she found, how music festivals can be made safer for women and LGBTQIA people, what sexual harassment and particularly street harassment is, what justice can look like for victim-survivors of those transgressions. We ended by discussing the Harvey Weinstein verdict. Research discussed: Fileborn, B. and Vera-Gray, F., 2017. “I want to be able to walk the street without fear”: Transforming justice for street harassment. Feminist Legal Studies, 25(2), pp.203-227. Hollaback resources tackling street harassment:
Parveen Ali is a Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sheffield. She is a Registered Nurse, Registered Nurse Teacher and Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts. She leads the MMedSci Advanced Nursing Studies and is Chair the School of Nursing and Midwifery’s Research Ethics Committee. In this conversation, we spoke about Parveen's research investigating attitudes towards intimate partner violence in Pakistan and the theory she developed to help understand IPV better in that particular cultural context. We also spoke about the importance of culturally specific data collection methods.
Dr Nicola Henry is Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow in the Social and Global Studies Centre at RMIT University. Nicola's research focuses on the prevalence, nature and impacts of sexual violence and harassment, including the legal and non-legal responses in Australian and international contexts. Her research has been largely situated in three socio-legal and criminology fields: (1) transitional and post-conflict justice; (2) rape law reform and primary prevention; and (3) technology-facilitated sexual violence. Her research is interdisciplinary, drawing on mixed-methods approaches within multidisciplinary teams. In this conversation, we spoke about how technology facilitates sexual violence- specifically image-based sexual abuse. We discussed the forms it takes, what we know about perpetrators, how it affects victim-survivors, how the law tackles it, how it can be prevented among other things. Research Discussed: Powell, A.,Henry, N. (2019). Technology-facilitated sexual violence victimization results from an online survey of Australian adults In: Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 34, 3637 - 3665
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