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Celebrating 10 years of CRiVA: Nicole Renehan

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.

Nicole Renehan has been part of CRiVA since 2021 when she joined the Department of Sociology.

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

Nicole Renehan, CRiVA member
Nicole Renehan, CRiVA member
Tell us about your role within CRiVA

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, teaching violence and abuse in its many forms at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. One of the tasks I took on during my first year at CRiVA was to organise a Centre trip to the European Society of Criminology in Malaga, 2022. This was a great experience, bringing together staff members and doctoral researchers to present research findings on violence and abuse projects to an international audience. My research specifically focuses on domestic abuse perpetrators, their lives and motives, and interventions and practice viewed through the lens of neurodiversity.

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

I was fortunate to have Professor Nicole Westmarland as external examiner for my PhD, who invited me to apply for a Postdoctoral Fellowship. Nicole provided mentorship during this time, and I have not let her off the hook since, benefiting from her excellent advice, encouragement, and passion in addressing violence against women.

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

I have to admit I have been following the work of the Centre members since 2015, even before they were all Centre members themselves. This was when I was still a domestic abuse practitioner in children’s services. I was delighted when I applied to work at Durham to see that my feminist heroes, Professors Nicole Westmarland, Geetanjali Gangoli, and Catherine Donovan were all under the same roof (so to speak). I am thrilled to be able to compliment and build upon their areas of expertise with my own.

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

My research aims to support development of domestic abuse interventions that are safe and inclusive for all, by making them responsive to a diversity of people with neurological differences and difficult life experiences. I have presented my findings and engaged in professional discussions to make this possible with, for example, probation delivery units, probation trainees, prisons, neurodivergent led organisations, and events which aim to reach practitioners and commissioners working within the domestic abuse field.

Find out more

  • Nicole Renehan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. Visit her profile
  • 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 Department of Sociology is ranked 1st in the UK for Criminology and 3rd in the UK for Sociology in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024. Feeling inspired? Visit our Sociology 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.