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Durham University

Email and Telephone Directory

Staff Profile

Dr Hannah Bows, LLB, MSc, PhD, FHEA

Associate Professor in Criminal Law in the Durham Law School

(email at hannah.bows@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Hannah is currently an Associate Professor in Criminal Law and Director of Equality and Diversity within Durham Law School. She is Co-Director of the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (see here for details and to joint the centre: https://www.dur.ac.uk/cclcj/) and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA). If you are interested in becoming a member of CRiVA and recieve updates on our work and invitations to events please email durham.criva@durham.ac.uk.

Her research interests are broadly located within the fields of violence against women, victimology, feminist and socio-legal theory.

Between 2020-2024 Hannah will be working on a project examining criminal justice outcomes and decision making in cases involving victims aged 60 and over, funded by a British Academy Wolfson Fellowship. For further details, see here: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/news/british-academy-and-wolfson-foundation-announce-six-new-fellowships-early-career-researchers

Over the last six years she has conducted research examining different forms of violence against older people, with a specific focus on domestic violence, sexual violence and homicide of older women. This work has led to a range of outputs, media interviews and articles, policy and public engagement activity. She has been announced the winner of the Emerald Publishing 'Real Impact' prize in the category 'Mobilising Research into Action' (2019-2020). Previously, she was awarded an ESRC Outstanding Impact (runner-up) prize in 2017. She is currently working on a British Academy funded project with colleagues in the Department of Sociology examining Sexual Violence at UK music festivals. You can find out more about the study here: https://safetystudydurham.wordpress.com/

Hannah is currently on a partial secondment to the Scottish Parliament, based in the information centre (SPICe) examining legal responses and potential legal reform in relation to abuse of older people. You can read more about the project here: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/100472.aspx

Outside of the university, Hannah is Associate Editor of the British Journal of Social Work. She is also the founder and director of the International Network for Research into Violence and Abuse and co-director of the British Society of Criminology Victims Network (with Professor Pam Davies at Northumbria University). She is Chair of Age UK Teesside. Additionally, Hannah sits on a number of external reference groups and official committees on issues relating to crime and (older) age. 

Hannah is interested in supervising doctoral students who wish to conduct research in the areas of crimes against or by older people, violence against women, criminal law, gender, ageing and feminist or socio-legal theory.

For research, media or consultancy enquiries please contact Hannah by email.

Field of Study

Violence against women

Crimes against, and by, people over the age of 60

Sexual and domestic violence

Justice (including processes and procedures)

Feminist and socio-legal theories

Publications

Journal articles (links to journal articles available at the bottom of this profile)

Please see list of journal article publications at the bottom of this page.

Books

Bows, H. (2019) (Ed.) Violence Against Older Women: Research, Policy and Practice (Two Volumes). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bows, H. (February 2019) Sexual Violence Against Older People (monograph). London: Routledge

Westmarland, N. and Bows, H. (December 2018) Researching Gender, Violence and Abuse: Methods, Theory and Policy. Oxford: Routledge.

Edited chapters

Bows, H. (2020) ‘Elder parricide: homicide of older people in the UK’. In: Condry, R. and Fitz-Gibbon, K. (Eds.) Child to parent homicide: International Perspectives on Filial Homicide. London: Routledge. 

Bows, H., King, H. and Measham, F. (2020) ‘Safety and Crime at UK music festivals: a gendered analysis’. In: Finkel, R. and Platt, L. (Eds.) Gendered Violence and International Festivals. London: Routledge.

Bows, H. (2020) ‘Sexual abuse of parents’. In: Shackelford, T. (Ed.) The SAGE Handbook of Domestic Violence. Seven Oaks, California: Sage.

Bows, H. (2020) ‘Preventing violence against older women’. In: Kewley, S. and Barlow, C. (Eds.) Preventing Sexual Violence. Bristol: Policy Press.

Bows, H. (2019) ‘Sexual Violence Against Older Women in the UK’. In: Bows, H. (Ed.) Violence Against Older Women, Volume 1. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bows, H. and Davies, P. (2019) ‘Elder homicide in the UK (2010-2015): A gendered examination’. In: Bows, H. (Ed.) Violence Against Older Women, Volume 1. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bows, H. (2019) ‘A double-edged sword? Freedom of Information as a method in social research’. In: Walby, K. (Ed.) Freedom of Information and Social Science Research Design. London: Routledge.

Bows, H. (2018) ‘Recognising the Sexual Victimisation of Older Women’. In: Duggan, M. (Ed.) Revisiting the ’Ideal Victim’ Concept. Bristol: Policy Press.

Bows, H. (2017) ‘Sexual and Domestic Violence among Older Populations’. In: Lombard, N. (Ed.) Research Companion to Gender and Violence. Surrey: Ashgate.

Bows, H. (2017) ‘Reflections on Women’s Involvement in Britain’s Contemporary Far Right’. In: Copsey, N. and Worley, M. (Eds.) Tomorrow Belongs to Us: The British Far Right since 1967. Oxon: Taylor and Francis.

Bows, H. (2017) ‘Methodological Approaches to Criminological Research’. In: Davies, P. and Francis, P. (Eds.) Doing Criminological Research (3rd Ed). London: SAGE.

Bows, H. (2016) ‘Characteristics of Offenders’. In: Davies, P., Harding, J. and Mair, G. (Eds.) Criminal Justice in England and Wales: An Introduction. London: SAGE.

Other publications

Westmarland, N. and Bows, H. (2018) ‘Tackling violence against women: addressing unmet needs’. London: British Medical Association. Available from: https://www.bma.org.uk/collective-voice/policy-and-research/public-and-population-health/womens-health

Bows, H. (2016) ‘Age and Victimisation’. In Corteen, K., Morley, S., Taylor, P., & Turner, J. (Eds.) A Companion to Crime, Harm and Victimisation. Bristol, United Kingdom: Policy Press.

Bows, H. (2016) ‘Sexual Violence’. In Corteen, K., Morley, S., Taylor, P., & Turner, J. (Eds.) A Companion to Crime, Harm and Victimisation. Bristol, United Kingdom: Policy Press.

Bows, H. (2016) ‘Honour Based Victimisation’. In Corteen, K., Morley, S., Taylor, P., & Turner, J. (Eds.) A Companion to Crime, Harm and Victimisation. Bristol, United Kingdom: Policy Press.

Bows, H., Jobe, A. and Westmarland, N. (2014) Sexual Violence Preventative Work with Young People - A Feasibility Study. Northern Rock. Durham: Durham University.

Research and Dissemination Ouputs

Recently Authored Articles

Bows, H. (April 2019) ‘Upskirting is now illegal – now the normalisation of men's sexual privilege in society must be tackled’ The Conversation. Available from: https://theconversation.com/amp/upskirting-is-now-illegal-now-the-normalisation-of-mens-sexual-privilege-in-society-must-be-tackled-115174?__twitter_impression=true

Bows, H. (November 2018) ‘Older victims murder risk 'unrecognised', academic warns’ BBC England (online). Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-46372661

Bows, H. (November 2017) ‘Almost two million UK adults have experienced domestic abuse in the last year’ The Conversation. Available from: https://theconversation.com/almost-two-million-uk-adults-have-experienced-domestic-abuse-in-the-last-year-87913.

Bows, H. (April 2016) ‘Why elderly deaths from abuse are part of wider pattern of violence against women’ The Conversation. Available from: https://theconversation.com/why-elderly-deaths-from-abuse-are-part-of-wider-pattern-of-violence-against-women-57529

Bows, H. (April 2016) ‘Murder of older women is more of a problem that you think’ [online] The Independent. Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/murder-of-older-women-is-more-of-a-problem-that-you-think-a6989376.html.

Bows, H and Roddy, J. (March 2016) ‘Older women and domestic violence’ [online] Therapy Today, 27(2), 26-29. Available from: http://www.therapytoday.net/article/show/5213/older-women-and-domestic-violence/

Bows, H. (February 2016) ‘Will changing the focus from victim to perpetrator stop domestic violence?’ [online] The Conversation. Available from: http://theconversation.com/will-changing-the-focus-from-victim-to-perpetrator-stop-domestic-violence-55206

Bows, H. (November 2015) ‘It’s not just the young who suffer sexual violence – older people get raped too’ [online]. The Conversation. Available from: https://theconversation.com/its-not-just-the-young-who-suffer-sexual-violence-older-people-get-raped-too-50994

Bows, H. (August 2015) ‘Women only carriages are just another form of victim blaming’ [online]. The Conversation.Available from: https://theconversation.com/women-only-train-carriages-are-just-another-form-of-victim-blaming-46693

Bows, H. (July 2015) ‘Challenging the real rape myths around older people’ [online] Durham Women Rising. Available from: https://durhamwomenrising.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/challenging-the-real-rape-myths-around-older-people/

Bows, H. (July, 2015) ‘Opening Eyes: responding to domestic violence in the north east’ [online] The Northern Correspondent. Available from: http://northerncorrespondent.com/2015/07/15/opening-eyes/

Bows, H. (June 2015) ‘Domestic violence ‘grown old’: the unseen victims of prolonged abuse’ [online] The Conversation. Available from: https://theconversation.com/domestic-violence-grown-old-the-unseen-victims-of-prolonged-abuse-43014

Recent Media Interviews and Coverage

The Guardian (online and in print), 8th April 2019, ‘Groping a big problem at gigs, say promoters and campaigners’ Hannah comments on sexual harassment at festivals. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/08/groping-sexual-harassment-a-big-problem-at-gigs-say-promoters-and-campaigners-sleaford-mods

The Independent (online), 19th March 2019, ‘Men see sexual harassment as less of a problem than when #MeToo started, poll finds’ Hannah comments on finding of poll. Available from: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/metoo-men-opinion-sexual-harassment-women-a8830611.html

The Independent (online), 6th March 2019, ‘Trump’s pick for Office on Violence Against Women claims guns will protect women from violence’ Hannah comments on recent appointment to office. Available from: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-office-shannon-lee-goessling-violence-women-guns-a8810576.html

The Independent (online), 24th February 2019, ‘Majority of men believe women more likely to be sexually assaulted if wearing revealing clothes, study suggests’ Hannah provides comments on the findings. Available from: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/men-sexual-assault-clothes-women-victim-blaming-rape-a8792591.html\

The Independent (online), 21st January 2019, ‘The new domestic violence laws sound good but they could be utterly useless – here’s why’. Available from: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/domestic-violence-abuse-laws-bill-violence-funding-theresa-may-a8739491.html

Daily Express, 28th August 2018, ‘Violence against elderly soars to new high’ Hannah provides expert analysis on crime against older people. Available from: https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1009308/violence-against-elderly-soars-to-new-high

The Guardian, 19th August (in print 20th August) 2018, ‘Two-thirds of women worry about sexual harassment at festivals – survey’. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/19/two-thirds-of-women-worry-about-sexual-harassment-at-festivals-survey

BBC Radio 4, 21st August 2018, ‘Woman’s hour’, Hannah Bows discusses the preliminary research findings on sexual violence at UK music festivals. Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bfx571

MiXmag, 20th August 2018, ‘Two-thirds of women are worried about sexual harassment at festivals’. Available from: https://mixmag.net/read/two-thirds-of-women-are-worried-about-sexual-harassment-at-festivals-news

The Independent, 20th August 2018, ‘Two-thirds of women concerned about sexual harassment at festivals, study finds’. Available from: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/festivals-sexual-harassment-women-concern-study-durham-university-a8499106.html

Yahoo! News, 19th August 2018, ‘66% of women in U.K. study say they fear sexual assault at music festivals, and the U.S. isn't much better’. Available from: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/according-new-study-66-women-fear-sexual-harassment-music-festivals-190454945.html?guccounter=1

FarOut Magazine, 21st August 2018, ‘Two thirds of women attending festivals are worried about sexual assault’. Available from: https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/two-thirds-of-women-attending-festivals-are-worried-about-sexual-harassment/

Metro Radio, 20th August 2018, ‘Over two thirds of women worry about sexual harassment at festivals’. Available from: https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/20/over-two-thirds-of-women-worry-about-sexual-harassment-at-festivals-7859631/

NME, 21st August 2018, ‘Two thirds of women are worried about sexual harassment at festivals’. Available from: https://www.nme.com/news/music/two-thirds-women-worried-sexual-harassment-festivals-2369136#CYe7FMFFCZIwC78t.99

Press Association, July 2018, comment on latest rape conviction rates, published in various places including:

BBC Tees, 14th May 2018, Hannah Bows responds to local increases in reported male rape. Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p065rssg#play

BBC Radio 5, 7th January 2018, ‘5 live investigates’ Hannah discusses her research on male victims of stalking and comments on current proposals to improve safeguards for victims of stalking. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09l1wx3

The Telegraph, 22nd December 2017, ‘What can we learn from other countries when it comes to rape convictions?’ Hannah Bows comments on current issues affecting rape conviction rates in the UK. Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/can-learn-countries-comes-rape-convictions/

BBC Radio 5, 23rd August 2017, ‘5 Live Daily’ Hannah Bows responds to the proposal by Chris Williamson MP to introduce women-only train carriages. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b091rqwp

BBC Radio 4, 23rd May 2017, ‘Killings in Care Homes’ Hannah Bows discusses her recent work on homicides of older people. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08r1vls.

BBC Radio 4, 20th September 2016, ‘The Last Taboo?’ Hannah Bows discusses her research examining sexual violence in care homes.
Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07vs2ny.

BBC News, 25th November 2015, ‘Durham University study finds over-60s sex attack victims feel 'invisible'’ [online]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-34914982

ITV, 25th November 2015 – ‘Durham University study challenges 'real rape' stereotype of older people’. Available from: http://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/2015-11-25/durham-university-study-challenges-real-rape-stereotype-of-older-people/

BBC Radio Ulster, Sunday 9th August 2015 - ‘Innocent until proven guilty?’ Hannah Bows & Briedge Gadd discuss the blame culture in sexual violence cases. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b064zv5g

Express North, 25th November 2015, ‘Durham University study reveals most raped pensioners know their abuser’ [online]. Available from: http://expressnorth.co.uk/4422-2/

Local Sunderland, 25th November 2015, ‘Durham Uni research reveals older women are also rape victims’ [online]. Available from: http://www.localsunderland.com/news/sunderland-news/10426/durham-uni-research-reveals-older-women-are-also-rape-victims/

Impact and engagement activities

Selected Guides and Briefing Notes

Bows, H. (2018) Domestic Homicide of Older People in the UK (2010-2015) Briefing Note. Available from: https://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/law/research/domesticabuse/homicidebriefingnote.pdf

Westmarland, N. and Bows, H. (2018) ‘Tackling violence against women: addressing unmet needs’. London: British Medical Association. Available from: https://www.bma.org.uk/collective-voice/policy-and-research/public-and-population-health/womens-health

Bows, H. (January 2016) Anyone Can Be a Victim of Rape: Guide for Practitioners. Durham: Durham University. This guide was developed in collaboration with Age UK Teesside, Age UK Gateshead and rape crisis Tyneside and Northumberland and funded through a Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing. A PDF copy is available from: https://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/criva/PractitionerGuide2.pdf

Bows, H. (2017) Sexual Violence in Later Life: Information Leaflet for Survivors. Durham: Durham University. This guide has been developed in collaboration with Age UK Teesside, Age UK Gateshead and rape crisis Tyneside and Northumberland and funded through a Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing. Available from: https://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/criva/RCTN_SVinLaterLife.pdf

Bows, H. (2016) Quick guide to domestic abuse between older couples. Community Care Inform. Available from: http://adults.ccinform.co.uk/guides/quick-guide-to-domestic-abuse-between-older-couples/

Examples of workshops and training

Bows, H. (January 2017) Sexual violence against older people: Challenges and opportunities for practice. Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland and Age UK Ashington. Newcastle: UK.

Bows, H. (January 2016) Rape of Older People in the UK Rape Crisis Workshop. Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland. Newcastle: UK.

Bows, H. (November 2015) Rape of Older People in the UK – Rape Crisis Workshop. National Rape Crisis Conference. Birmingham: UK.

Bows, H. (November 2015) Rape of Older People in the UK. North East Sexual Violence Conference. Stockton: Durham University.

Research Groups

Durham Law School

  • Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
  • Gender & Law at Durham

Research Interests

  • Crimes against, and by, people over the age of 60
  • Feminist and socio-legal theories
  • Justice (including processes and procedures)
  • Sexual and domestic violence
  • Violence against women

Selected Publications

Authored book

Edited book

Chapter in book

  • Bows, H. & Hackett, S. (2020). Sexual abuse of parents. In The SAGE Handbook of Domestic Violence. Shackelford, T. Sage. 2.

Journal Article

Report

  • Bows, H., Jobe, A. & Westmarland, N. (2014). Sexual Violence Preventative Work with Young People. A Feasibility Study. Report for Darlington and Co. Durham Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre.

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Crime:
  • English Law:
  • Gender and law:
  • Criminology:
  • Sociology:
  • Law & Crime:
  • Crime:
  • English Law:
  • Gender and law:
  • Social sciences:
  • Criminology:
  • Sociology:

Selected Grants

  • 2020: From Report to Court: Crimes Against Older People (£126765.00 from The British Academy)
  • 2018: Comic relief learning advisor (£16666.67 from Comic Relief UK)
  • 2018: Domestic Violoence Risk Assessment for Older People - scoping project (£3388.00 from ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (INNOGEN))
  • 2018: Sexual Violence at UK Music Festivals (£9001.00 from The British Academy)