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School of Applied Social Sciences

SASS Staff

Hannah Bows

Contact Hannah Bows

Biography

Hannah graduated with a First Class Law with Criminology (LLB) degree from the University of Salford in 2012. Hannah was then awarded a partial tuition-fee studentship to study for an MSc in Criminology & Criminal Justice at Durham University, which she passed with Distinction in 2013. Her dissertation ‘A delicate balance: the police reporting decisions of women aged over 40’ supervised by Professor Nicole Westmarland explored domestic violence against women aged over 40 and focused on the decision to report or not to report to the police. Hannah succeeded in securing an ESRC studentship at Durham University for her PhD study which builds on her masters thesis in exploring rape against people aged 60 and over. The research is a mixed-method study utilising national police data (gained through Freedom of Information requests) and qualitative interviews with professionals working in voluntary organisations supporting older people and specialist sexual violence support organisations and a number of women who have experienced sexual violence since the age of 60.

Since 2012 Hannah has worked as a research assistant to Professor Nicole Westmarland in the School of Applied Social Sciences, assisting on a number of research projects in the area of violence against women. Notable projects include a study into the use of smartphone ‘apps’ in relation to victimisation and perpetration of domestic and sexual violence and a scoping study on education and prevention of sexual violence with young people on behalf of Rape Crisis in Darlington.

Hannah also holds a number of university commitments and responsibilities. Hannah was on the organising committee for an international one day feminist methodology conference taking place in September 2014 under the direction of Professors Nicole Westmarland and Clare McGlynn and co-organised the North East Sexual Violence conference 2015 with Professor Westmarland on the theme of 'Sexual Violence against Older People'. In addition, Hannah has helped organise postgraduate conferences in the law school. Hannah is a member of the Durham Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA) which involves attending steering meetings, open forum meetings and working on research projects as part of the centre. Hannah also teaches at Durham University on the Level 2/3 undergraduate Crime Power and Social Inequalities module. Hannah is also assisting on the Supported Progression summer school for Year 10 and 11 students (sociology & criminology).Outside of the university, Hannah is the co-founder of the British Society of Criminology Specialist Victims Network and is the Chair of Age UK Teesside.

Field of Study

Sexual violence against people aged 60 and over

Publications

Journal articles

Bows, H. (2017) (accepted) ‘Researching Sexual Violence against Older People: Reflecting on the use of Freedom of Information requests in a feminist study’. Feminist Review.

Bows, H. (2017) (accepted) ‘Sexual Violence against Older People: A systematic review of the existing empirical literature’. Trauma, Violence and Abuse.

Bows, H. and Westmarland, N. (2017) ‘Rape of Older People In The United Kingdom: Challenging The ‘Real Rape’ Stereotype. British Journal of Criminology. 57 (1), 1-17. Available from:http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/11/24/bjc.azv116.full

Bows, H. and Westmarland, N. (2017) ‘Older sex offenders - managing risk in the community from a policing perspective’. Policing & Society [forthcoming]. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10439463.2016.1138476

Books

Bows, H. (2018) (Ed.) (under review) Violence Against Older Women: Research, Policy and Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bows, H. (under contract – forthcoming 2017) Sexual Violence Against Older People (monograph). London: Routledge

Westmarland, N. and Bows, H. (under contract - forthcoming 2017) Researching Gender, Violence and Abuse: Methods, Theory and Policy. Oxford: Routledge.

Edited chapters

Bows, H. (2017) ‘Recognising the Sexual Victimisation of Older Women’. In: Duggan, M. (Ed.) Revisiting the ’Ideal Victim’ Concept. Bristol: Policy Press.

Bows, H. and Westmarland, N. (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

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 Experience

Impact and engagement articles

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

Press Engagement

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

Impact & Policy Development

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. It is in the process of being distributed to age-related organisations, safeguarding adult departments and sexual violence organisation across the UK. 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. The guide is aimed at older survivors of sexual violence and is currently being designed. It will be published and distributed in early 2017.

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/

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.

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Show all publications

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