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Better Education for Boys & Young Men in Tackling VAWG

January 26, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

A timely conversation exploring the need to shift the responsibility of women’s safety to a more fundamental approach

About this event

Don’t walk around on your own at night. Carry a rape alarm. Flag down a bus. Ask to see a police officer’s badge. Report areas where you feel unsafe. This is just some of the advice given to women to address the issue of women’s safety – and very recently, by the Government in direct response the murders of Sarah Everard & Sabina Nessi.

However, there is a justified demand to stop placing the onus on women to protect themselves against harassment, misogyny & violence. Tackling male violence against women needs to focus on the origin – men. Needless to say, it’s not all men but it is predominantly men nevertheless.

Better education for boys & young men is an area that many groups – academics, policy makers, activists, campaigners, charities and many more – believe would be an effective way to address misogyny & help to curb the rise in male violence towards women & girls. Organisations such as White Ribbon & US based The Representation Project along with recent campaigns such as ‘That Guy‘ are bringing this conversation into the mainstream.

As a topic that LSBU is committed to challenging, we’ve brought together several academics & researchers, from LSBU & beyond, who are working tirelessly to address this issue. They’ll explore how society – parents, family, teachers & educators, peers, etc – can be part of this fundamental attitude shift as to where the responsibility lies in ensuring the safety, physical & mental wellbeing and lives of women & girls.

Our confirmed speakers so far include:

With more to be confirmed.

This event is for everyone – parents & families, teachers & educators, community groups & youth workers, etc… Join us to be part of this crucial conversation and please share with anyone you feel might be interested in attending. All are welcome and we all have a role to play in ending violence against women & girls.


This event will be delivered via Zoom and you will receive the joining instructions a few days before the event.

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Dr. Tirion Havard – Tirion is a senior lecturer in the Social Work department and the co-lead of the Serious Violence Research Group. She draws on her experiences as a probation officer working with perpetrators of domestic abuse and gang members to inform her research into Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). She is currently Principal Investigator evaluating the Serious Violence Intervention and Prevention project at Kent County Council and the use of Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA) in Surrey hospitals. She has been interviewed for television & radio and is currently seconded to Southwark Council to develop a training programme designed to understand children and young people’s experiences of gang life through the lens of coercive control . Tirion recently undertook an Academic Fellowship in Parliament advising them on coercive control.


Professor Nicole Westmarland – I am the Director of the Durham Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA). My research consists of around thirty research and consultancy projects in the field of male violence against women. I am particularly known for my work on rape, domestic violence and prostitution which has underpinned a number of policy changes and which I have spoken about all over the world.

I strongly believe that academic research should be used to create positive ‘real world’ social change and it is this that drives my personal research agenda. My recent academic advisor and consultancy positions have included Special Advisor to the Joint Committee on Human Rights for their Inquiry into Violence against Women and Girls (2014-15) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (2012-15).

Previously, I have also held the position of Special Advisor to the Government’s Victims of Violence and Abuse Prevention Project and chaired one of its Expert Groups. My research has directly underpinned two major government policy reform processes (HM Government Stern Review into Rape and the Home Office Coordinated Prostitution Strategy). I held the voluntary position of Chair of Rape Crisis (England and Wales) for five years.


Dr Stephen Burrell – I am currently undertaking a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship exploring the connections between the climate crisis and masculine violence, and how to engage men and boys in building more caring relationships with the environment. Myself and colleagues have also recently launched a podcast, ‘Now and Men: Current conversations about men’s lives’.

I completed my PhD at Durham in 2019, which investigated work with men and boys to prevent men’s violence against women in England, including how young men make sense of violence prevention campaigns. Subsequently I carried out an Economic and Social Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship on the role the business sector can play in preventing violence against women and promoting gender equality, and how to engage more men in such efforts. I have also undertaken research with Prof Nicole Westmarland and Sandy Ruxton for the Government Equalities Office about the impacts of masculine gender norms in the UK today, from which we produced a report and engagement toolkit. We have also recently co-authored a book with international colleagues, entitled ‘Men’s Activism to End Violence Against Women: Voices from Spain, Sweden and the UK’.

Additionally, my research has examined the gendered impacts of the coronavirus crisis. This has included co-authoring a Promundo report with Ruxton on the connections between masculinities and Covid-19, researching the consequences of the pandemic for work with men and boys in Europe, and how to build gender equality in the North East business sector in the wake of Covid-19. I have also investigated with Westmarland and others the experiences of male victims of domestic abuse during the pandemic.

I am a trustee for White Ribbon UK and co-chair of the steering group for Changing Relations CIC. Since I first started studying sociology, feminist ideas have had a profound impact on me, and these continue to provide the primary inspiration for my work. As a result, I am also interested in the varied ways in which men respond to feminism.


Dr Chris Magill – Chris is now Senior Lecturer in the School of Business and Law at the University of Brighton but formerly worked at LSBU as Senior Lecturer and Lead for the Crime and Justice Research Group in the School of Law and Social Sciences. She has over 15 years’ experience conducting research on issues relating to crime and criminal justice. Her interest in Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) has a very long history. It dates back to her role as a Research Fellow in the Domestic Abuse strand of the Home Office’s Crime Reduction Programme in the late 1990s. Between 2007 and 2013, she employed as a Principal Research Officer for the Crown Prosecution Service. Here she worked closely with the Equality and Diversity Unit, contributing to their annual VAWG report, and conducting research on topics such as so-called ‘honour’ crime and forced marriage. Chris also volunteers as a ‘Change That Lasts Ambassador’ for R.I.S.E, a Brighton-based domestic abuse charity.


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