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Working title of PhD: What’s the story? Gender-based violence (GBV) public narratives in diverse communicative contexts: implications for justice-seeking in the UK

Institution: University of Strathclyde

Full or part-time: Full time

Year commenced: 2023

PhD Supervisors: Professor Laura Piacentini and Professor Karen Boyle

Funding source: ESRC via SGSSS


This research will expand academic consideration of contemporary gender-based violence (GBV) public narratives by investigating how survivors of GBV in institutional contexts both represent themselves as public survivors and how their stories are told by others to draw conclusions for GBV campaigning and justice-seeking in a UK context.

It will contribute to a burgeoning research field and will build on the work of scholars located in both criminology (e.g. Serisier, 2018) and media studies (e.g. Boyle, 2019) by analysing GBV stories in different communicative contexts where individual survivors have varied degrees of editorial control. Specifically, I will compare survivor-produced media with the use of survivor discourse in mainstream media forms, and with content produced through criminal justice contexts. Selection of data sources will allow for analysis of written, audio and audio-visual stories, and discourse analysis will be employed to interrogate materials. Furthermore, I will conduct interviews to gather valuable insights from the different groups of interest – public survivors, communications professionals, and criminal justice representatives.

I will approach the analysis from an intersectional feminist standpoint with a specific interest in
institutional power and social inclusion. I will draw on narrative criminology as a theoretical tool,
recognising the importance of storytelling in our social and cultural lives. The study will focus on GBV in institutional contexts (such as the police or education), reflecting contemporary, high-profile cases of public concern. Implications for justice-seeking will be identified and findings generated of interest to GBV campaigners, communications and criminal justice professionals, and academics.

Keywords: gender, violence, institutions



University of Strathclyde

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