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Gendered Violence and Abuse

Interdisciplinary Research Theme


According to the World Health Organisation, “violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence – is a major public and clinical health problem and a violation of women’s human rights”. One in three women across the planet experience this violence. ‘Gendered violence and abuse’ (GVA) refers to behaviours underpinning inequitable gender relations by hurting, threatening or undermining people because of their (perceived) gender.  ‘Violence and abuse’ rejects a narrow focus on physical violence to encompass the full range of behaviours (such as ‘coercive control’, stalking, harassment, and the numerous forms of digital GVA). Focusing on ‘gendered’ violence and abuse highlights, for example, the gender asymmetrical nature of this phenomenon and enables exploration of how contemporary masculinities and femininities contribute to or challenge GVA.

About this IDRT

Established in summer 2023, Northumbria University’s Gendered Violence and Abuse Inter-disciplinary Theme (IDRT) brings together scholars from across the university whose work addresses this urgent problem. Working in collaboration with other researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and activists, IDRT scholars focus on two urgent aspects of GVA which prevent gender equality: an emerging form - digital violations - and a ‘wicked’ problem - domestic abuse. The IDRT identifies the ways in which interdisciplinary approaches can generate new perspectives, questions, and solutions for tackling GVA locally, nationally, and internationally. Its research examines the different eco-systems in which digital and domestic violence occurs and thrives - such as in the home, workplace, media and entertainment, and educational settings. This ecosystems approach eschews a focus on individual perpetrators, typical of criminal justice and psychological perspectives, and enables an interdisciplinary focus on social, political, cultural and technological systems and structures that enable and perpetuate GVA. 

Our network

Members of the IDRT are working with a wide range of partners from the public, voluntary and private sectors. They include: 

  • Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland
  • Changing Lives
  • Ministry of Justice
  • REPHRAIN: National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online
  • Cornell Tech
  • Amnesty International 
  • Lloyds Bank England and Wales
  • Domestic Abuse Commissioner
  • Hague Mothers
  • IBM Research
  • Women’s Aid
  • Northumbria Police
  • The British University in Egypt
  • Cambridge University 
  • Coalition Against Stalkerware
  • Surviving Economic Abuse

Theme Leads

Dr Ruth Lewis  

Dr Rima Hussein

Dr Kayliegh Richardson

Dr Angelika Strohmayer

If you would like to find out more about our research or get involved in the IDRT, please contact

Join our mailing list

To join our Gendered Violence and Abuse IDRT mailing list, please email


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