module specification

SS7147 - Violence Against Women: Issues, Research and Policy (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Violence Against Women: Issues, Research and Policy
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
164 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   2 page briefing paper for policymakers (between 500-750 words)
Coursework 70%   3500 - 4000 word Essay
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Week All day

Module summary

 This module introduces students to the range of forms of violence against women, their prevalence and consequences: intimate partner violence, domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, FGM and crimes in the name of honour.  We will address explanatory frameworks and perspectives, including human rights, and critically assess current policy approaches. Within an intersectional framework we will:

- introduce students to the range of forms of violence against women
- familiarise students with the current knowledge base on prevalence of, relationships and contexts for violence and its short and long term consequences
- locate the emergence of the issues within social movement and social problem analysis
- critically assess explanatory frameworks and contemporary policy responses


Violence Against Women LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
Critical engagement with theory, concepts and definitions
Feminist challenges to traditional research methods
Assessing the evidence base
From private matters to public issues - social movement and human rights perspectives
Explanatory frameworks: from simplistic gender power to gender orders and intersectionality, the continuum of violence
Policy responses

Intimate Partner Violence LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
The current knowledge base: prevalence, extent and context of violence
Working with men as perpetrators
Children's experiences
Current debates

Harmful traditional practices in a globalised world LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
FGM, forced marriage and crimes in the name of honour
The current legal framework, law enforcement and health based responses
Trafficking and the international sex industry
Femicide and feminicide

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module is delivered over 6 days, 10am - 5.00pm. An introductory first 2 days, and 2 further blocks of 2 days will be spread over the teaching semester of 11 weeks. The teaching methods will include groupwork, lectures, guest lectures, workshops, and appraisal of audio-visual material. Recommended reading will be available to support each session. Additional electronic material and lecture notes will be made available via Weblearn.

Learning outcomes

 By the end of the module students should be able to:

1.  identify the extent and consequences of a range of forms of violence against women
2.  analyse the emergence of the issues
3.  link trends in UK policy responses to the international context
4.  apply key explanatory frameworks and analyse current debate

Assessment strategy

Students should prepare a 2 page briefing paper for policymakers (between 500-750 words) from a list of topics provided. The briefing can be tailored to a specific geographic region, including the UK. This assessment is to be handed in on day 5 of the course.

Students will be provided with a list of titles for the 3,500-4,000 word essay during Day 3.  If a student wishes to focus on an issue or debate not covered in the list, it may be possible to devise an alternative title, however this must be agreed with the module convenor and must be able to evidence learning outcomes 2-4.

Students must pass both components
Coursework 100% - a briefing paper and extended essay.


 Core Readings:
Buzawa, E., Buzawa, C., and Stark, E. (2011) Responding to Domestic Violence:  The Integration of Criminal Justice and Human Services London: Sage.
Connell, R.W. (2009) Gender Cambridge: Polity Press.
Crenshaw, K. (1994) ‘Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and
Violence Against Women of Colour’ in Stanford Law Review 43(6), pp. 1241-1299. Available from
Jackson, S. and Scott, S. (2002) (eds) Gender: a sociological reader London: Routledge.
Jakobsen, H. (2014) ‘What’s Gendered and Gender-Based Violence? An Empirically Grounded Theoretical Explanation from Tanzania’ in Gender & Society 28 (4), pp. 537-561.
Kelly, L. (1987) Surviving Sexual Violence. Cambridge, Polity Press. 
Kennedy Bergen, R.L., Edleson, J.L. & Renzetti, C.M. (eds) (2005) Violence Against Women: Classic Papers. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. 
Lombard, N. & McMillan, L. (2013) (eds) Violence Against Women: Current Theory and
Practice in Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Exploitation London: Jessica Kingsley.
Loseke, D.R., Gelles, R.J. & Cavanaugh M.M. (2005) (eds) Current Controversies on Family Violence London: Sage.
Rehman, Y., Siddiqui, H., and Kelly, L. (2012) (eds) Moving in the Shadows: Violence in the Lives of Minority Women and Children. London, Routledge.
Stark, E. (2007) Coercive Control – How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Thiara, R. and Gill, A. (2009) Violence Against Women in South Asian Communities: Issues for Policy and Practice London: Jessica Kingsley.
Westmarland, N. (2015) Violence Against Women: Criminological Perspectives on Men’s Violences London: Routledge.

Additional readings:
Eriksson, M., Hester, M., Keskinen, S. & Pringle, K. (2005) (eds) Tackling Men's Violence in Families - Nordic issues and dilemmas. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Merry, S. (2006) Human Rights and Gender Violence: Translating International Law into
Local Justice Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Sokoloff, N.J. & Pratt, C. (eds) (2005) Domestic Violence at the Margins: Readings on Race, Class, Gender and Culture New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
West, C.M. (2002) Violence in the Lives of Black Women: Battered, Black, and Blue New York: Haworth Press.

Jayasinghe, D. and Noble, R. (2015) Fearless: standing with women and girls to end violence London: ActionAid.
Kelly, L. and Lovett, J. (2005) What a Waste: The Case for an Integrated Violence Against Women Strategy.  London: DTI.
Lundgren, E. (2004) The Process of Normalising Violence Stockholm:
Riksorganisationen för kvinno-och tjejjourer i Sverige (ROKS).
Pickup, F. with Williams, S. & Sweetman, C. (2001) Ending Violence Against Women. A
Challenge for Development and Humanitarian Work. Oxford: Oxfam GB.
Women’s National Commission (2009) Still We Rise: Report from WNC Focus Groups to inform the Cross-Government Consultation “Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls” London: WNC. Available from
Women’s National Commission (2010) A Bitter Pill To Swallow:  Report from WNC Focus Groups to inform the Department of Health Taskforce on the Health Aspects of Violence Against Women and Girls London: WNC. Available from

British Journal of Social Work
Child Abuse Review
Feminist Review
Feminist Theory
Journal of Gender Based Violence
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Violence Against Women: an International and Interdisciplinary Journal

Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit
Daughters of Eve
Ending Violence Against Women Coalition
European Institute for Gender Equality
London Black Women’s Project
Rape Crisis England and Wales
Rights of Women
Southall Black Sisters
Women’s Aid

Electronic Databases:
Academic Search Complete
Care Knowledge
Lexis Library
Oxford Journals Archive
Sage journals online
Science Direct
Social Care Online
Web of Science