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Durham University

Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA)

About Us

Based within the Department of Sociology at Durham University, the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA) is dedicated to improving knowledge about interpersonal violence and abuse, and professional and societal responses to it. CRiVA has research impact at its core. Our researchers have strong connections with policy and practice, based upon our driving force of working towards ending violence and abuse across society.

CRiVA was launched in June 2013, and our Director is Professor Nicole Westmarland, with Dr Hannah Bows as Deputy Director. We currently have approximately 300 members, consisting of around 80 staff and students from within the university and around 220 members from across the UK and internationally.

Anyone with an interest in violence and abuse research is welcome to join CRiVA. As well as academics and members of the community, students are particularly encouraged to join and get involved in our research projects, events and discussions. We warmly welcome the national surge of activism in recent years from students campaigning against violence and abuse on campus, and the ways it links with ‘lad culture’.

CRiVA is made up of a vibrant, supportive community of researchers, and we regularly engage in a number of different activities, from coffee mornings to away days, as well as public lectures, seminars and conferences. We have a number of postgraduate researchers who are actively involved in the research centre, and conducting research into a range of different areas relating to violence and abuse. Current and recently completed PhD projects include:

  • Sexual violence against older women (Hannah Bows)
  • How young men understand and use domestic violence prevention campaigns (Stephen Burrell)
  • Police responses to same-sex partner abuse victims (Kate Butterworth)
  • Understanding female perpetrated child sexual abuse in organisational contexts (Andrea Darling)
  • How children and young people who have lived with domestic violence experience housing and ideas of home (Kirsten Ellen Hall)
  • Domestic violence perpetrators - the role of housing providers (Kelly Henderson)
  • Men's fatal violence against women (Karen Ingala-Smith)
  • The experiences of European migrant women seeking support for domestic abuse from institutions in the UK (Kelly Johnson)
  • Symbolic violence, women selling sex and trafficking in Hong Kong (Angie Ng)
  • A new therapeutic intervention programme for children who have experienced sexual abuse (Josie Phillips)
  • How the press reporting of sexual violence affects the everyday lives of rape survivors (Kathryn Royal)
  • Sensemaking with scrapbooking: How victim-survivors make sense(s) of sexual violence in their everyday lives (Rosa Walling-Wefelmeyer)