Monash Professors Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Sandra Walklate selected as co-investigators of UK-based ESRC Centre

Director of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon, and Monash Professor of Criminology, Sandra Walklate, are co-investigators of the recently funded UK-based ESRC Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre.

Jointly led by the University of York and the University of Leeds, the new Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) research centre will target social and economic challenges faced in the UK, surrounding issues including child exploitation, modern slavery, and homelessness.

Alongside Professor Nicole Westmarland from Durham University, Associate Professor Fitz-Gibbon and Professor Walklate will lead the ESRC centre’s workstream on policing domestic abuse.

In her latest piece of work prior to securing this role, Professor Walklate analysed court responses to domestic abuse in England and Wales throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, Associate Professor Fitz-Gibbon, at the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre (MGFVPC), has been collaborating with colleagues to examine the impact of the pandemic on responses to domestic violence in Australia.

Research facilitated by the MGFVPC will now be used in a global context to inform and develop the pathway of the ESRC centre.

“[The Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre] leads and progresses an ambitious research agenda, that seeks to ensure we build the evidence base needed to improve responses to all forms of family violence, and ultimately to prevent violence before it starts,” Associate Professor Fitz-Gibbon explains.

Amplifying its international recognition, the involvement of the MGFVPC in the UK-based ESRC centre is an opportunity for Monash research to inform policy and practice on a global scale.

“It is so significant that the Monash [Gender and Family Violence Prevention] Centre is involved in the [ESRC] centre,” says lead researcher at the MGFVPC, Professor Walklate. “The work that is done there has international ramifications - the dilemmas it is addressing are facing a lot of different jurisdictions,” she adds.

Click here to find out more about how the MGFVPC is propelling policy change in Australia and internationally.