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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Kathryn Royal

Contact Kathryn Royal


I joined Durham in 2011, as an undergraduate studying Sociology and graduated in 2014. I already had a strong interest in violence against women and feminism prior to joining Durham, and had been involved in activism in Newcastle, my hometown. This interest grew over the course of my degree. I began volunteering with a Rape Crisis centre, and my academic interest in violence against women was combined with practical experience.

After completing my BA, I stayed on to do the Social Research Method (Social Policy) Masters, and graduated with distinction. My dissertation looked at newspaper reporting of domestic violence cases, and how these represent victims and perpetrators.

Whilst working on my Masters, I was awarded funding from the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the North East Doctoral Centre to undertake a PhD. My doctoral research is looking at how press reporting of sexual violence impacts on rape survivors’ everyday lives. I hope to explore how survivors’ lives are affected by victim blaming attitudes found in the press, and how these attitudes may be resisted. I plan to do this from a feminist perspective using a range of qualitative methods. I am collaborating with Everyday Victim Blaming, and Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland, where I have been volunteering for over 3 years.

Field of Study

How does the press reporting of sexual violence affect the everyday lives of rape survivors?

Research interests

  • Sexual violence
  • Victim blaming
  • Violence against women

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