Dr Melanie McCarry: Keynote speaker at conference 1st March 2019


Dr Melanie McCarry, Strathclyde University, School of Social Work and Social Policy, is presenting her keynote at DMU’s SVDV Research Network’s latest Conference to be held on 1st March 2019. The theme of the conference is Sexual and Domestic Abuse in the Lives of Children and Young People and Melanie’s work as lead researcher in the Equally Safe in Further and Higher Education project (tiny.cc.equallysafeHE) will provide an ideal insight into this area. Following the project a Toolkit was developed to implement Scottish Government Equally Safe strategy on gender-based violence in Further and Higher education. The Scottish Government have recommended that all HE and FE institutions implement the Toolkit.

McCarry, M., Donaldson, A., McCullough, A., McGoldrick, R. and Stevenson, K. (2018) Equally Safe in Higher Education Research Tookit. Glasgow: University of Strathclyde.

Melanie is also the Programme Director for the BA Social Policy and teaches across this programme and the Masters in Social Policy programmes. Melanie has published widely on men’s violence against women and children, including domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced marriage and abuse in same-sex relationships and on gender constructions specifically masculinity. For over two decades Melanie has worked collaboratively with colleagues in both academia and the feminist activist movement. Melanie is also currently developing the first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Forced Marriage to be launched spring 2019.

Pat Branigan from the NSPCC delivered keynote at Conference on Sexual and Domestic Abuse in the Lives of Children and Young People. 1st March 2019

DMU’s SVDV Research Network partnered with Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’s Civil and Criminal Justice Working Group to host a conference for practitioners and academics on Sexual and Domestic Abuse in the Lives of Children and Young People in March 2019. We had the pleasure of welcoming Pat Branigan from the NSPCC to join our other excellent key note speakers . He leads on the NSPCC’s response to child sexual abuse, with a focus on the prevention of harmful sexual behaviour adopted by children and young people.

Highly Regarded Sexualised Trauma Specialist delivered keynote at conference on March 1st 2019

We were delighted that Zoe Lodrick accepted our invitation to join our other excellent keynote speaker, Pat Branigan (NSPCC) at our March 2019 conference, organised with our friends from the Civil and Criminal Justice Working Group (DV). Of her many credentials Zoe was honoured to deliver the inaugural Moira Jones Memorial Lecture, at COPFS Annual Conference in Glasgow, and to be awarded the Moira Jones Memorial Bowl in recognition of her work to increase understanding of sexualised trauma within the criminal justice system in 2010.

She is an inspirational speaker for the delegates at our conference on Sexual and Domestic Abuse in the Lives of Children and Young People, which included practitioners in statutory agencies and voluntary organisations, academics, students and members of the public. We welcomed people from local, national and international regions.

Sexual Abuse & Domestic Abuse in the lives of Children and Young Adults: Conference

De Montfort University Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence (SVDV) Research Network Conference 2019

Sexual Abuse and Domestic Abuse in the lives of children and young people

In partnership with Criminal and Civil Justice Working Group (CCJWG)

Friday 1st March 2019


This is an event of key interest to practitioners, policy makers, academics, students, victim/survivors and members of the public.

This conference is a forum to discuss all the various ways the lives of children and young people (aged 0-26) are affected by all forms of sexual violence/abuse and domestic violence/abuse. The spaces children and young people experience these issues either as victims or perpetrators is no longer confined to the ‘domestic’ location of home, expanding into virtual spaces and university campuses for example. The conference allows delegates to consider abusive behaviours that contribute to sexual violence and domestic violence of our children, adolescents and young adults, such as sexual harassment, stalking and intimidation methods from the perspectives of those who are subject to it and those who carry it out.

This subject concerns everybody, regardless of discipline or practice, organisation or age, in order to achieve a world free from sexual violence and domestic violence. That is why this conference invites you to participate and share you research and practice, regardless of your field or level of experience.


  • To increase knowledge and understanding of these issues in respect of children and young people across a broad range of experiences, professional roles, responsibilities and subject disciplines.
  • To advance understandings of diverse experiences of such behaviours and their impact from victim/survivor and perpetrator perspectives.
  • To develop and advance understandings of good practice across disciplines and agencies in addressing sexual violence and domestic violence as experienced by children and young people.

To achieve this by:

  • Knowledge transfer and the sharing of creative innovations in this field
  • The creation and expansion of networking opportunities
  • The facilitation of an open dialogue between key stakeholders.

Dr Lisa Oakley, ‘Exploring Spiritual Abuse and the implications for policy and practice’: SVDV seminar hosted at DMU (8 June 2016)

On Wednesday 8th June 2016, Dr Lisa Oakley (pictured) presented a seminar at DMU entitled: “The whole thing is based on fear- this is abuse and people need to know that” – Exploring Spiritual Abuse and the implications for policy and practice.

Lisa-story-pic-560x300pxThis seminar explored the topic of spiritual abuse. This form of abuse is attracting growing attention in light of changes to the definitions of domestic violence to include coercion and control and in response to the prevent agenda. Understanding psychological and emotional abuse in faith settings is of increasing importance. This seminar firstly explored what Spiritual Abuse is, the impact it has on the individual and links between spiritual abuse and other forms of abuse. It then considered challenges for safeguarding policy and practice and report recent advances in these areas.

Dr Lisa Oakley is programme leader for the only undergraduate course in Abuse Studies in the UK based at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research is principally in the area of Spiritual abuse and safeguarding in faith based organisations. In 2013 Lisa co-authored a book entitled ‘Breaking the Silence on Spiritual Abuse’ this was published by Palgrave MacMillan and is the first book based on empirical research on this topic in the UK. Lisa has spoken extensively on the topic of spiritual abuse across the UK at national and international conferences. Lisa has taught in Higher Education for over 20 years.