Dr Lorna O’Doherty

Associate Professor, Coventry University

Lorna O’Doherty received her BA (Hons) in Applied Psychology from University College Cork in Ireland in 1999, an MBS in 2001 from University College Dublin and her PhD on the psychology of neurological disorders from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2007. She was aresearch fellow in primary care research at the University of Queensland from 2005-2007. Through her workwith a women’s charity and an appointment at the Department of General Practice, Melbourne Medical School (2007-2013), Lorna fostered a research focus on violence against women and children. She is an honorary fellow at The University of Melbourne and has published widely on the subject of abuse and health, including the weave trial published in the Lancet in 2013 along with systematic reviews and qualitative studies into risk and resilience. She is currently Associate Professor of violence and health research within the Centre for Intelligent Healthcare at Coventry University, PI on the Mesarch study,  a member University’s internal REF panel and is on the editorial board of PLOS ONE.

Professor Katherine Brown
Professor of Health Psychology Applied to Public Health, University of Hertforshire

Since completing a PhD studentship at Sheffield Hallam University in 2004 Professor Katherine Brown has held posts as Lecturer and later Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Coventry University and for three years was Course Director of the MSc Health Psychology programme. In September 2011, Dr Brown took up the position of Reader in eHealth and Wellbeing Interventions, a joint post between Coventry University and Public Health Warwickshire. In September 2017 she was conferred with a Professorship. She has published papers in psychology, medical and public health journals and obtained funding from research councils including the British Academy and Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, the European Commission and commercial sources. Professor Brown is currently Lead of the Health Behaviour and Interventions Research sub-theme in the Centre for Advances in Behavioural Science. Prof Brown’s research interests include the application of psychological behavioural change theories and evidence to the design and development of public health interventions; the application of eHealth as a format for intervention delivery; interventions to support sexual health and wellbeing outcomes, including the work looking at ending Female Genital Mutilation amongst migrant African communities in Europe. Evaluation of interventions is also a key focus of her work.

Professor Sarah Brown

Adjunct Professor, University of Sunshine Coast

Professor Brown has been conducting research related to sexual aggression for over 25 years. She is a Forensic Psychologist, Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Professor Brown is the Chair of the National Organisation for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (NOTA) and a Fellow of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA). She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and Visiting Fellow of the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences (HAS), University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol. She is an Associate Editor of Child Abuse and Neglect and a member of the Editorial Board of Sexual Abuse and the Journal of Sexual Aggression having been the Editor of the latter journal from 2008 to 2014.

Dr Emma Sleath

Associate Professor in Criminology, University of Leicester

Emma Sleath completed her PhD at the University of Leicester under the supervision of Professor Ray Bull.  This PhD examined predictors of rape victim blaming including: rape myth acceptance, belief in a just world, and gender role beliefs.  This PhD also compared the attitudes of specially trained Police officers (STOs) with non-specially trained Police officers to examine the influence of training in addressing these negative perceptions of rape victims.  After achieving her PhD, Emma joined Coventry University’s Psychology and Behavioural Sciences department in August 2011.

Since joining the department, Emma has worked with several police forces in relation to sexual offences and intimate partner violence, developing collaborative relationships across the United Kingdom.  Current projects include carrying out the first research examining police officers’ perspectives and responses to revenge pornography and non-consensual sharing of private sexual media.  The outcomes of this project will develop evidence-based practice in improving police force responses to this offence.  Emma continues to develop research that focusses on victim retraction and disengagement in cases of sexual and intimate partner violence.

Dr Rachel Caswell

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Rachel Caswell obtained her medical degree in Trinity College Dublin in 2001 and is now a consultant working in the area of HIV and Sexual Health Medicine. As part of her current role she oversees sexual health services for survivors of sexual violence in a large Sexual Health service. She is involved in several research projects including her own doctoral studies, where she is looking at how disclosure of sexual violence and abuse by adult survivors attending sexual health services works for some and not for others.  She is als part of the National Sexual Violence BASHH (British Association of Sexual Health and HIV) subgroup that works on guidelines, patient information and recommendations for sexual health clinic use throughout the UK.  For Mesarch she plans to begin identifying patients through her work at Umbrella Sexual Health Service who have previously attended a SARC and are interested in being involved.

Professor Gene Feder

Professor of Primary Care, University of Bristol

Gene qualified at Guy’s Hospital medical school in 1982. Gene trained as a GP and was a principal in Hackney, east London for 21 years until he moved to Bristol in 2007. His research group carried out the first epidemiological study of domestic violence in primary care in Europe, landmark systematic reviews on domestic violence screening and on survivors’ expectations of clinicians, and randomized controlled trials of domestic violence interventions. Gene led the NIHR-funded Programme of Research on Violence in diverse Domestic Environments , am co-editor of Intimate partner abuse and health professionals and of Domestic violence and mental health, and co-author of the intimate partner violence chapter in Cecil’s Medicine. He chaired the 2010 domestic violence subgroup of the Department of Health’s task-force on responding to violence against women and children, the 2013 WHO intimate partner violence guideline development group and the 2014 NICE domestic violence programme development group. From 2011 to 2014 he was the RCGP domestic violence clinical champion. In 2016 his research group started our second NIHR- funded programme: Reaching Everyone Programme of Research on Violence in diverse Domestic Environments. In 2017 Gene started domestic violence research projects with colleagues in Brazil and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (HERA), now extended to projects in Nepal and Sri Lanka. Currently he is chair of the UK intercollegiate and DVA agencies forum.

Dr Louise Jackson

Lecturer in Health Economics, University of Birmingham

Dr Louise Jackson joined the Health Economics Unit in October 2012, and since this time has been involved in a range of research projects in health economics. A key focus of Louise Jackson’s work is the economic evaluation of interventions in sexual health, maternal health and public health. She is currently the principal investigator (PI) on a grant funded project exploring young people’s preferences for STI testing.

Prior to this, Louise Jackson was the principal economic researcher on an NIHR funded project examining the effects of weight management interventions on maternal and fetal outcomes in pregnancy (the iWIP study). She also worked as the main economist on the NIHR funded ‘BALLSEYE’ programme which aimed to improve sexual health in men.

The research of Dr Jackson has had international and national impact. She has presented her research at national and international conferences as well as publishing in leading academic journals.

Dr Jackson is currently the Programme Director for the two programmes which are delivered by the Health Economics Unit, MSc Health Economics and Health Policy and MSc Health Economics and Econometrics. Louise Jackson also contributes to teaching more broadly in the Institute of Applied Health Research and College of Medical and Dental Sciences.

Prior to joining the Health Economics Unit, Dr Jackson worked in Health and Social Care for over 10 years. This phase of her career involved research management and analysis to drive improvements in service design and delivery.

Professor Richard Morris

Professor in Medical Statistics, University of Bristol

Richard’s career has comprised statistical expertise applied to a wide range of topics in primary care, public health and epidemiology. From 2003-14, while based at UCL, he was co-director of the British Regional Heart Study, an international prestigious cohort study of British men, investigating the causes and possible preventive strategies for cardiovascular disease (CVD). He has continuing interest in investigating seasonal variations in CVD and its risk factors, and in understanding why the UK has a particularly marked excess winter mortality, especially from CVD.  Richard has been involved in much primary care research, especially in evaluating interventions through randomised trials, and he is part of the Bristol Randomised Trials Collaboration, to provide methodological support. He is also attached to the Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) and engages with a wide variety of quantitative research themes within CAPC.

Millicent Gant

Sexual Assault Referral Centre Manager, Juniper Lodge
Millie has over 17 years’ experience as a Leicestershire Police Officer, 14 as a detective. She has worked within the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), in Major incidents including the role of a Family Liaison Officer (FLO) in Murder and sensitive investigations. Millie also has specialist experience in Covert investigations and surveillance from her nearly 4 years with East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) More recently, Millie has gained significant expertise and experience from spending over 6 years in the SIGNAL team who specialise in rape investigation. This experience was developed further by completing a period of temporary promotion as a Detective Sergeant and providing training inputs to partner agencies and staff. Millie was successful in securing the position of SARC manager in February 2017, which meant that she took a career break from her role as a Detective, but remained employed by Leicestershire Police. This is an area that Millie is passionate about and is committed to developing and enhancing existing services to all people that have been affected by sexual assault. Millie completed the ‘Lighthouse Project’ in September 2018, which is a facility available to all Children under 18 (under 25 if suffering from a learning difficulty) and has 3 video-recorded interview suites, a remote link to the Courts and also a dedicated floor focusing on CSE victims.

Dianne Whitfield

Co-Chair, Rape Crisis England and Wales

Dianne is currently the Co-Chair of RCEW and she continues to work clinically as a Gestalt therapist and group counsellor to survivors and victims of sexual violence. She has significant experience working within a range of public sector organisations before training as a Gestalt therapist and joining the voluntary sector. Her background includes working as a Human Resource specialist in a variety of management/ senior management roles. She has an MBA and has also worked for a number of years as a management consultant specialising with working with NHS organisations and its strategic partners. In total Dianne has had over 30 years’ experience of delivering public services. Dianne is also a consultant on the Kings Fund Cascading Leadership Programme for the voluntary sector. Her more recent experience has been focussed in the field of sexual violence in a variety of different roles and has substantial experience working at a strategic level, having advised national organisations such as the IPCC and participating on national groups such as the National CPS/ ACPO Scrutiny Groups as Rape Crisis England and Wales (RCEW) representative.

Dr Grace Carter


Grace is a Chartered Psychologist and Research Fellow at the Institute of Health and Wellbeing (Coventry University). Grace conducts research in the fields of domestic/sexual violence, health and justice. Grace was awarded a PhD in 2019 from the University of Liverpool. Grace’s PhD thesis examined the development of the evidence base of interventions for children and young people who have experienced domestic violence and abuse. Prior to this she was awarded an MSc (Distinction) in Investigative and Forensic Psychology, and a First Class BSc (Hons) in Psychology, from the University of Liverpool. In addition to the Mesarch project, Grace is also involved in JiCSAV (Justice in Covid for Sexual Abuse and Violence) a project funded by the ESRC as part of the UKRI Rapid Response to Covid-19. Grace is a committee member of the VAWG Research Network, and leads the ECR Network and development of Special Interest Groups.