Before becoming Professor in Sociology, I was Director of the Centre for the Study of Safety and Well-being (SWELL), a dedicated research centre specialising in violence against women and children and on marginalised communities, University of Warwick.
My main interest lies in the area of gendered violence and social change, through research and activism. In the last 25 years I have conducted national and international research that contributes to policy and practice development in this field. More specifically, my research explores and theorises the intersection of violence, gender and inequality-marginality (‘race’/ethnicity and disability). My expertise in gendered violence and racialised communities, disability and domestic violence, and child contact in contexts of violence has provided much needed evidence to improve policy and practice. With regard to gender violence, I have a particular interest in: domestic and sexual violence; children and young people; racialised communities; disability; post-separation violence; child contact; mental health and wellbeing; vicarious trauma. Some key publications in this area include:
- R. K. Thiara and A. K. Gill (eds.) (2010) Violence Against Women in South Asian Communities: Issues for Policy and Practice, Jessica Kingsley Publishers – described as ‘powerful, challenging and inspirational, and is an important contribution to debates on the complex intersections between ethnicity, gender and inequality, as well as on human rights and violence against women’ (Prof Liz Kelly, CBE).
- R.K. Thiara, S. Condon and M. Schroettle (eds.) (2011) Violence Against Women and Ethnicity: Commonalities and Differences Across Europe – A Reader, Barbara Budrich publishers.
- R.K. Thiara, G. Hague, B. Ellis, R. Bashall and A. Mullender (2012) Disabled Women and Domestic Violence: Responding to the Experiences of Survivors, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- J. Ellis and R.K. Thiara (eds.) (2014) Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls: Educational Work with Children and Young People, Policy Press.
- R.K. Thiara, R.K., C. Harrison and D. Chung (forthcoming), Women and Children Living with Post-separation Violence: It’s Never Over, Routledge.
My research interests also lie in:
- Diaspora and Migration – I have researched and published on the Indian diaspora in South Africa.
- Feminist activism on violence against women – see a recent Heritage Lottery Fund project (with Dr June Freeman) enabled the completion of the history of the founders of refuges in East Anglia and East London, which also resulted in an exhibition – J. Freeman and R.K. Thiara (2018) You Can’t Beat a Woman: The Story of the Founding of Refuges, Colchester.
Current and recent projects
I have completed several research, strategic reviews and evaluation projects in the area of gender and violence for national and local government, national charities and for third sector organisations. Key current projects include:
Principal Investigator (in partnership with Imkaan) on research funded by Esmee Fairbans on Sexual Violence and Minoritised Women, 2017-2020.
Co-Investigator on an ESRC network led by Professor Louise Howard and Dr Sian Oram at Kings College on Violence and Abuse and Mental Health, 2018-2022.
Co-Investigator, with Dr Patricia Bell from City University on a project funded by the EU on Growing Up with Violence and Abuse, 2019-2021.
Selected publications and reports
- K. Thiara and S. Roy (2020) Minoritised Women’s Experiences of Sexual Violence: Disclosure, Help-Seeking and Responses, Imkaan and University of Warwick, London.
- R.K. Thiara and L. Radford, L. (eds.) (forthcoming 2021) Domestic Abuse Across the Lifecourse: Safeguarding and Prevention, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- R.K. Thiara and C. Harrison (2016) Safe not sorry: Supporting the campaign for safer child contact, Women’s Aid.
- C. Humphreys, R. Thiara, A. Mullender and A. Skamballis (2006) Talking about Domestic Abuse: A Photo Activity to Develop Communication between Mothers and Young People; Talking to My Mum: A Picture Workbook for Workers, Mothers and Children Affected by Domestic Violence, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Wright, J. and Thiara, R.K. (2018), ‘Breaking the silence and shame of sexual abuse: creative writing for therapeutic purposes’, Journal of Poetry Therapy, Vol. 32 (1).
- Chung, D., Fisher, C. Zufferey, C., Thiara, R.K. (2019) ‘Preventing sexual violence against young women from African backgrounds’, Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 540, pp.1-13.
- Chantler, K. and Thiara, R.K. (2017) ‘We are still here’: re-centering the quintessential subject of intersectionality’, Special Issue, Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp.82-94.
- Thiara, R.K. and Humphreys, C. (2017) ‘Absent Presence: the on-going impact of men’s violence on the mother-child relationship’, Child and Family Social Work, Volume 22, No.1, pp. 137-145.
- Hague, G., Thiara, R.K. and Turner, A. 2011 ‘Bride-price and its links to domestic violence and poverty in Uganda: a participatory action research study’, Women's Studies International Forum, 34 (2011) 550-561.
- Humphreys, C., Thiara, R. and Skamballis, A. 2011, ‘Readiness to Change: Mother-Child Relationships and Domestic Violence Intervention’, British Journal of Social Work, 41, 166-184.
- Humphreys, C., Regan, L., River, D. and Thiara, R. 2005, ‘Domestic Violence and Substance Use: Tackling Complexity’, British Journal of Social Work, 35: 1303-1320.
- Humphreys, C. and Thiara, R. 2003, ‘Domestic violence and mental health: ‘I call it symptoms of abuse’, British Journal of Social Work, 33: 209-226.
During the academic years 2019-2021, my teaching includes:
SO261 Gender and Violence
SO112 International Perspectives on Gender
SO116 Sociology of Gender
I have supervised students from different countries exploring a number of areas within the broad topic of gender and violence and I am interested in supervising future research in this area.