The project team

Dr Lorna O’Doherty

Associate Professor, Coventry University

Lorna is the Principal Investigator with overall responsibility for delivering the project on time, within budget and according to protocols agreed with our oversight groups, the funder and ethics committees. Lorna has key responsibilities in recruiting SARC sites to join the project and in relation to the safe and ethical conduct of the research. She aims to ensure that the interests of those with lived experiences of abuse remain central to all we do.

Dr Emma Sleath

Associate Professor in Criminology, University of Leicester

Emma is leading the second work stream, comprising a national mapping of SARCS and in-depth case analyses about the work that SARCs do, experiences of staff and other stakeholders, and the role of SARCs in with the wider context of the community response to sexual violence. This work stream is concerned with different models of service delivery and the range of interventions offered across SARC settings in England.

Professor Katherine Brown

Professor of Health Psychology,  University of Hertfordshire

Katherine is the lead for the third work stream that involves examining mental and sexual health and life quality in approximately 1000 survivors over a two-year period in order to understand the widespread impacts of SARCS on adults as well as young people and children.

Professor Sarah Brown

Adjunct Professor, University of Sunshine Coast

Sarah is leading the first work stream which aims to synthesise national and global evidence around psychological and psychosocial interventions for survivors of sexual assault and rape. This work also involves a review of the experiences of individuals and their families in respect of care in the aftermath of sexual violence.

Dr Grace Carter

Research Fellow, Coventry University

Grace is responsible for the day-to-day aspects of the project across the work streams. She plays a key role in connecting with SARCs, third sector organisations and NHS Trusts involved with MESARCH, and collects and analyses quantitative and qualitative data over time. She is leading our 2 year study with children and young people that sits within the third workstream.

Dr Nazanin Khasteganan

Research Associate, Coventry University

As information scientist for the project, Nazanin’s main role is to plan and manage all research literature associated with the project, to undertake project systematic reviews as part of work stream one and to assist with delivery of effective data management systems.


Priya Tek Kalsi

Public Involvement Coordinator, Coventry University

Priya‘s role as public Involvement Coordinator is to mobilise the voices of victims and survivors of sexual abuse across all aspects of the project. She is the main liaison person for our Public and Patient Involvement group, creating opportunities for wide stakeholder involvement through seminars, training, focus groups, meetings and individual feedback. PPI contributions range from shaping study procedures and safety protocols to providing feedback on materials to working as peer researchers.


Alex Musto

research assistant, Coventry University

Alex is a research assistant for the MESARCH project. She manages the tracking of participants through the study. She is also the team member responsible for gaining consent from participants and undertaking research interviews with people mainly by phone. With her social work practitioner background, she plays a key role in advising on safeguarding matters across the work streams.

Dr Gemma Halliwell

Research Fellow, University of Bristol

Gemma is a mixed methods researcher with a specialist interest in domestic abuse and sexual violence. Her research is grounded in experience of working frontline within the domestic abuse and sexual violence sector/s and reflects commitment to survivor-led co-produced services.

As part of the MESARCH project, Gemma provides oversight and data management of three SARCs and ISVA services in the South West.