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Working title of PhD: Supporting victimised autistic women in Scotland: Using inclusive approaches to understanding their experiences

Institution: University of Glasgow

Year Commenced PhD Study: 2023

PhD Supervisors: Caitlin Gormley, Oona Brooks-Hay and Susan Batchelor

Funding Source: ESRC

Full or Part-time: Full time


To date, evidence shows that disabled women face extreme disadvantage and greater vulnerability or risk to victimisation than general populations. Compared to women who are not disabled and disabled men, violence against this group is disproportionately high, often ongoing for a longer time, and this is remains the same for autistic women who can be at risk of greater and repeat victimisation, especially interpersonal or sexual abuse.

However, autistic women in particular are severely misunderstood and unsupported, and with their diverse and complex challenges there is a greater need for substantial, suitable and tailored support services. Yet, feminist criminology has somewhat ignored the significance of disability within research and theorisation, and autistic women are often underrepresented in research. It is clear that intersectional identities incorporating both gender and disability result in elevated risks of victimisation, but there is a lack of understanding and addressal of the problems and needs of this group which creates challenges in giving them adequate support.

Therefore, this research aims to better understand the experiences of emotional, and practical support services for autistic women who have been victims of crime in Scotland. It aims to explore barriers, good practices, and areas for improvement within support provision or where the needs of autistic women are not being met. It will be based upon inclusive research methods, taking a flexible approach to asynchronous email interviews with autistic women, as well as incorporating the perspectives of support service providers.

Keywords: disability, victimisation, inclusive research



University of Glasgow

Research Themes

Criminal Justice and Health

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