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Celebrating 10 years of CRiVA: Florence-Olivia Genesse

The Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA) was launched in 2013 and has since been designing and enhancing research-led education, policy and practice in the field of violence and abuse.

Florence-Olivia Genesse was first introduced to CRiVA by her supervisor, Professor Clare McGlynn, during her PhD at Durham Law School.

Read on to find out more about Florence-Olivia, her role and passion and why CRiVA is so important.

Florence-Olivia Genesse, CRiVA member
Florence-Olivia Genesse, CRiVA member
Tell us about your role within CRiVA

I am a PhD student in the Durham Law School, specialising in issues of sex equality under international and domestic law. My research focuses on the intersections of international criminal law, feminist legal theory, and sexual offenses.

How did you become involved with the work in the Centre?

My association with CRiVA originated from the alignment of my research interests with the centre’s dedicated focus on issues related to violence against women and girls. I recognised CRiVA’s well-established reputation for pioneering research in this area, and their steadfast commitment to addressing critical issues related to women’s rights deeply resonated with my own research goals and advocacy efforts.

Why are you so passionate about the Centre and the work they do?

I am profoundly passionate about the work of CRiVA because it tackles essential issues that impact women’s lives and communities on a global scale. CRiVA’s unwavering commitment to advancing research, policy, and advocacy to combat violence against women is both inspiring and crucial in our world. What truly motivates my commitment to CRiVA’s work is its unique ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Not only does the Centre explore and analyse these critical issues theoretically, but it also transforms this knowledge into practical solutions and actions.

How does your work impact communities / the world around you?

As an advocate for change, I spearheaded the development of one of the first policy for the prevention of sexual violence in Canada. As the first large-scale sexual violence prevention policy, I was instrumental in drafting legislation that resulted in key legislative changes. Notably, my initiative has been highlighted as an example of effective, peer-led sexual violence programmes, contributing, ultimately, to Quebec’s National Assembly adopting Bill 151, An Act to Prevent and Fight Sexual Violence in Higher Education Institutions.

As a strong advocate for the democratisation of research and the mobilisation of knowledge for political change, I continually seek innovative ways to achieve widespread awareness of feminist issues. For instance, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, when confined to my home but determined to drive change, I created a TikTok (@the.sisofficial) and Instagram (@the.sisofficial) channel, specialising in informative, accessible videos related to gender inequality. In just one year of its existence, the community around this channel has grown to over 300,000 people from around the world, engaging in discussions on feminist issues. In recognition of this contribution, I was honoured in Canada as one of the 15 most influential individuals of 2022.

My academic work has also garnered the attention of national and international organisations, including Plan International, The Canadian Women’s Foundation, and The United Nations (UN Women). Additionally, my efforts on social media to raise awareness about the ‘Signal for Help’ – a gesture that can be used by those at risk of abuse – have been featured in 1,800 news stories with a potential reach of 1.1 billion people, ultimately saving the lives of two women who were abducted.

What opportunities did you have working as part of CRiVA?

Being a Postgraduate Researcher (PGR) at CRiVA has afforded me the privilege of collaborating with distinguished experts in the field of violence against women. The unwavering quality and commitment to interdisciplinary research at CRiVA, with particular expertise in sexual violence, along with an active postgraduate community that organises regular reading groups, seminars, and training activities has provided the perfect environment for pursuing my doctoral studies and personal development.

Find out more

  • Florence-Olivia Genesse is a Postgraduate Researcher (PGR) in the Durham Law School. Visit her profile
  • Florence-Olivia Genesse was one of the 15 most influential Quebecers of 2022
  • The Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA) is dedicated to improving knowledge about interpersonal violence and abuse, and professional and societal responses to it. Find out more
  • CRiVA’s research has received international acclaim and led to ‘world leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ impact ratings. Discover more
  • Our Law School is a world leader in legal education. We are ranked 6th in the UK in The Complete University Guide 2024 and 7th in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2024. Feeling inspired? Visit our Law School webpages to learn more about studying with us.
  • If you’d like to share your story or insights into your work, visit our Submit a blog or vlog page to learn more.