We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse

Staff profile

Kelly Johnson, BA, MA

Contact Kelly Johnson (email at


Before obtaining her MA (with distinction) from Durham University in 2012, Kelly gained her Masters of Arts (BA equivalent) in International Relations and Anthropology (with first class honours) at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

I am undertaking a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Durham, researching domestic violence, service interactions and help-seeking in the context of recent EU migrant communities in Edinburgh, with a particular focus on Polish nationals. My research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council on a 1+3 studentship, and is in collaboration with Scottish Women's Aid.

I have now completed my fieldwork, where I used ethnographic methods to collect data in Edinburgh. During my time there I was placed at two domestic violence charities, and I also interviewed victims of domestic violence, statutory service providers - such as the police and medical staff - and numerous other individuals working in the third sector. 

I have also taken on a number of applied anthropological projects, connected to my research, during my PhD. For 20 months I worked with social workers in Edinburgh developing a Polish domestic abuse programme for perpetrators, victims and their families. I formed part of the steering committee tracking the project's progress, conducted a project evaluation and assisted in the development of a toolkit to aid professionals in better supporting Polish families experiencing domestic violence.

I additionally joined the College of Policing's Research and Analysis Unit for an ESRC-funded research placement, where I collected data for a pilot aiming to improve the way domestic abuse risk assessments are conducted by frontline officers. My duties involved computerised data collection and conducting observations of first and secondary response officers.

Please get in touch if you would like any further information about my work, or if you have any information that might be useful for my research. I am currently writing up my thesis, in Durham.



Indicators of Esteem

  • 2012: Best Masters Dissertation 2012: Granted by the Anthropology Department at the University of Durham
  • 2010: Most Successful Student in Anthropology: Granted by the Social Science Faculty at the University of Aberdeen
  • 2010: Most Successful Student in International Relations: Granted by the Social Science Faculty at the University of Aberdeen

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Research Interests

  • Domestic Abuse
  • Gender Studies
  • Gender Violence
  • Migration
  • NGOs and social service institutions
  • Participatory and Applied Research
  • Vulnerability, Risk and Resilience

Teaching Areas

  • Anthropology: People and Cultures 2014-2015

Selected Grants

  • 2015: Caedmon/Ceolfrid Trust
  • 2013: Erasmus Postgraduate Research Placement
  • 2013: John Simpson Greenwood Memorial Fund
  • 2011: ESRC 1+3 Studentship
  • 2010: Thomas Glover Scholarship

Is supervised by