This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Thursday 29 June 2023, 12pm to 5pm
  • Location: In-person only
    Cloth Hall Court, Quebec Street, Leeds LS1 2HA
  • Audience: Open to staff, students (postgraduate researchers only), practitioners
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Join the Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre for an event that brings together multiple ESRC-funded projects where researchers are working in partnership with the police to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG).

This series of short talks will explore emerging findings from the projects covering topics such as stalking, creating safer public places, and policing race and gender, among others. The event will examine what can be done to help police constabularies and other relevant stakeholders tackle specific challenges linked to VAWG.

About the speakers

Speakers will include:

Nicole Jacobs: Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales

Professor Nicole Westmarland: Director of the Durham Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA), Durham University

Dr Anna Barker, 'Creating safer parks and public spaces for women and girls'

Following high-profile violent crimes against women and regulatory failings in streets, parks and other public spaces, alongside evidence of the prevalence of public sexual harassment, creating safer public spaces has become a strategic policing priority. Dr Anna Barker (University of Leeds) will report on research conducted to explore women, girls and professionals' views of safety in parks, and the work being done leading a new partnership collaboration to co-produce new guidance 'Safer Parks - Improving Access for Women and Girls'.

Professor Aisha K. Gill CBE, 'Policing race and gender: improving responses to sexual abuse offences against Black and minoritized women'

Dr Tracee Green, 'Child Sexual Exploitation and Girls: An Interactive Training Tool for Child Protection Professionals'

National and global polices have turned towards tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), targeting any act of violence against females. This session will introduce a collaborative partnership between the Centre for Child Protection and Kent Police tackling this VAWG agenda. Starting with a knowledge exchange initiative, our collaboration has progressed to the point of creating, implementing, and evaluating a pilot training tool to support police officers. The focus of the tool is to encourage a trauma-informed approach to work with girls who have experience of child sexual exploitation.

Dr Alison Jobe, 'Developing and sharing best practice to support victims of sexual violence with learning disabilities and/or autism'

Research shows that people with learning disabilities are at higher risk of sexual abuse, and that women with learning disabilities are particularly vulnerable. When women with learning disabilities report sexual violence to the police, their reports are less likely to result in a charge or a conviction.

In response, a film Us Too: Alisha's Story and reflective practice training package have been co-developed using participatory methods by researchers (Jobe and Williams), with Open Clasp Theatre Company, and Us Too experts by experience. Us Too were supported in the project by ARC England (Association for Real Change). The film Us Too: Alisha’s story was co-created to effect change and to develop inclusive criminal justice responses to sexual violence.

Working in partnership with Durham police, RSACC, Open Clasp Theatre Company and ARC- Us Too, the film and reflective practice training package will be piloted in an ESRC-funded participatory theatre-based project to develop criminal justice practice in Durham in 2023. Dr Alison Jobe will provide an overview of the project.

Professor Lesley McMillan, 'Understanding Domestic Homicide in Scotland: Exploring Patterns, Promoting Safeguarding'

Dr Emily Setty, 'Re-imagining the relationship between schools and police in preventing and responding to harmful sexual behaviour in schools'

This talk will share emerging findings from research conducted with schools, police and other professional stakeholders about the policing of harmful sexual behaviour among young people in schools. It will outline the different forms of policing that take place, including to prevent and respond to incidents. It will discuss the tensions and unintended consequences of policing methods and how schools, police and other agencies can best work together for trauma-informed and transformative justice oriented approaches to this problem.

Dr Emma Sleath: East Midlands Partnership On violence against WomEn and giRls (EMPOWER)

Led by the University of Leicester, EMPOWER is a partnership of statutory and non-statutory organisations working together to identify issues that relate to VAWG across Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, and Nottinghamshire. Adopting a co-produced and co-designed approach, we have identified five areas of practice that the project will explore over the course of the 9-month project. These include: accessing and engaging in the criminal justice system, multi-agency and multi-system working, education, evidence-based working, and culture in the criminal justice system. This talk will report on progress on the project and reflect on plans for the future.

Dr Kate Wood, 'Ten Years On: Stalking in Kirklees, policing and support for victims'

The Secure Societies Institute (SSI) at the University of Huddersfield were awarded a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council’s program ‘Partner with the police to tackle violence against women and girls’ to carry out an action research project entitled ‘Ten years on: stalking in Kirklees policing and support for victims’.

The project started in early September 2022 and will be completed by the end of September 2023. It was developed with a range of partners who continue to be involved in the project; these are West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (West Yorkshire Combined Mayoral Authority), Safer Kirklees, Pennine Domestic Abuse Partnership, and others such as Connect Housing have come on board. A wider range of organisations are also members of the 'Stalking research, prevention and practice hub’, established as part of the action research.

Overall, the project aims to establish a clearer picture of stalking in Kirklees, including how West Yorkshire Police are currently policing stalking and identifying gaps in support for survivors. This presentation will provide an overview of the project, including any initial findings, how lived experience 'influencer' voices have been included, and explore key messages thus far.

Dr Lynne Callaghan, 'Strengthening partnerships through research to tackle male violence against women and girls in Plymouth'



Sophie Caswell-Jones, Centre Coordinator