I am a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Policing Research and Learning. I joined the OU in 2019 from the Centre for Gender and Violence Research in the School for Policy Studies at Bristol University.
My interests are in different forms of violence against women and girls, in particular domestic and sexual violence, forced marriage and honour-based abuse. Drawing on a feminist lens, my work aims to improve services for victims/survivors, to hold perpetrators accountable, and to improve our laws and criminal justice responses.
I come from a policy and a research background, with experience across the public and NGO sectors before entering academia. I began my career in the Home Office and spent six years as a non-political policy adviser to parliamentary select committees (Home Affairs and Education) before joining national domestic abuse charity SafeLives as Head of Research and Evaluation.
My research interests are across gender and violence against women nationally and internationally. I research policy and practice responses to victims/survivors of intimate partner, family and sexual abuse, especially in criminal justice and policing settings. I use qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as secondary data analysis of police and agency case file data.
My PhD analysed 1,500 cases of honour-based abuse and forced marriage in the UK to develop a typology of abuse based on the relationship(s) between victims and perpetrators. I have since led work across the UK and four Scandinavian countries to map and improve policy and justice responses to honour-based abuse.
I have worked on several major academic research projects since 2015, including:
Prior to academia I led NGO research evaluating support services for adult victims of domestic abuse; services for children witnessing domestic abuse; the effectiveness of putting domestic abuse advocates into hospitals; and young people experiencing intimate partner violence. I also led an evaluation of the impact of the Gender Act 2014 on international development aid and gender equality on behalf of Plan International and The GREAT Initiative.
I have lectured, led seminars and convened units on undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Social Policy and Criminology, including:
I have supervised MSc and undergraduate dissertations.
I collaborate with academic and practitioner colleagues across Europe, in particular in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
No longer a civil matter? The design and use of protection orders for domestic violence in England and Wales (2020)
Bates, Lis and Hester, Marianne
Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 42(2) (pp. 133-153)
Honor-Based Abuse in England and Wales: Who Does What to Whom? (2020)
Violence Against Women ((Early access))
What does justice mean to black and minority ethnic (BME) victims/survivors of gender-based violence? (2019)
Gangoli, Geetanjali; Bates, Lis and Hester, Marianne
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies ((Early Access))
Justice for victims of sexual abuse and harassment: lessons for Westminster? (2018-06)
Journal of Gender Based Violence, 2(2) (pp. 397-402)
Female perpetrators of honour-based violence: conspirators, collaborators, coerced? (2018)
Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 10(4) (pp. 293-303)
Honour-based Abuse in England and Wales: Who Does What to Whom? (2017-01)
PhD thesis University of Bristol