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Symposium on Violence, Harassment and Abuse: Enduring Inequalities and New Directions

Tuesday 8 May 2018, 9:30 - 17:30
School of Psychology, rooms 1.33/34

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Overview of the event

The School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds is hosting an interdisciplinary symposium on the themes of enduring inequalities associated with violence, harassment and abuse facilitated by the Centre for Research on Families, Life-course and Generations (FLaG) and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies (CIGS). Set against the backdrop of the #metoo campaign and widespread public disclosures of sexual violence and harassment, including long-term effects of trauma, we warmly invite you to this one-day event. The event brings together practitioners, researchers, policy-makers, third-sector organisations and students to discuss current research and practice concerned with addressing VAWG and offers new directions in research and practice.

The UK government’s current VAWG strategy (2016-2020) outlines the strategic aim of ‘making

VAWG everyone’s business’ with specific reference to the engagement of ‘men, boys and bystanders’ to challenge VAWG and ‘further social change’ (Home Office, 2016). Practices and policies implemented under welfare reform are however severely at odds with this, which makes for treacherous terrain when seeking to explore new prevention approaches, particularly as the stories that we tell about women’s experiences remain stubbornly focused on victim-survivors rather than perpetrators. To what extent can theories, policies and dominant discourse be reworked so that violence against women is genuinely regarded as a social problem for which there is a shared, collective responsibility to address?

This event is FREE with 65 available places with some refreshments provided so please register via and feel able to bring your lunch. The event will also hold a collection with any contributions donated toward building a ‘safe school’ in Nepal. Please send any enquires to:;; or

For directions, please see:


9.30: Registration and refreshments

10.00: Welcome: Dr Sharon Elley and PGRs

10.10: Opening Address: Understanding ‘victimhood’ and “othered” women’s experiences of sexual violence’, Professor Aisha K. Gill, University of Roehampton, UK

Panel 1: 11.00am-1.00pm

11.00: Measuring Violence to End Violence’, Dr Jude Towers, University of Lancaster, UK

11.20: ‘Gender, culture and the racialized other: Negotiating the tightrope of activism and research on violence against minoritised women in the West’, Dr Sundari Anitha , University of Lincoln, UK

11.40: 'Engaging men and boys in the prevention of men's violence against women in the UK', Stephen Burrell, University of Durham, UK

12.00: Problematising constructions of 'victims' within contemporary narratives of childhood sexual abuse’, Dr Jo Woodiwiss , University of Huddersfield, UK

12.20: Question/Answer: Chair, Dr Sharon Elley and PGRs

1.00:  Break and refreshments

Panel 2: 1.30pm-3.30pm

1.30: The right amount of panic: Women’s safety work in public’, Dr Fiona Vera-Grey, University of Durham, UK

1.50: ‘Marriage is a protection for me': Women's Experiences of Domestic Violence and their Premise to Stay in Abusive Relationships', Faiza Tayyba, University of Leeds, UK

2.10: 'Relationship and Sex Education: the Art of the Possible', Lynnette Smith, Big Talk Education, UK.

2.30: Question/Answer: Chair, Professor Sally Hines and PGRs

3.00: Discussant: ‘Emerging themes, reflections and the future of VAWG’, Dr Jo Woodiwiss, University of Huddersfield, UK

3.30: Final close: Dr Sharon Elley and PGRs

3.40: Networking

5.30: End

Organising Committee: Dr. Sharon Elley (University of Leeds, FLaG, CIGS, L-CYR), Eleanor Craig (Masters Student, University of Leeds); Sally-Anne Beverley (PhD Student, University of Leeds), Mary Robson (PhD Student, University of Leeds), Chris Waugh (PhD Student, University of Leeds) and Jessica Wild (PhD Student, University of Leeds).

Advisory Committee: Professor Sally Hines (CIGS); Professor Sarah Irwin (FLaG); Dr. Kim Allen (FLaG, L-CYR, CIGS); Dr. Adam Formby (FlaG); Dr. Rosey Hill (CIGS) and Dr. Edmiston (FLaG).