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New initiative to support those facing gender-based violence during lockdowns

Brighton researchers are offering creative outlets supporting those experiencing gender-based violence during the pandemic to share their stories.

Entitled The immobilities of gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, the transdisciplinary project, with researchers from the universities of Roehampton and Plymouth, focuses on the links between gender-based violence (GBV) and constraints on movement – immobilities – across the UK during the pandemic. Since the first lockdown in March 2020, there has been a surge in reports of domestic abuse, as well as changes in patterns of other forms of gender-based violence, including street harassment and online harassment.

The project is inviting people to add their story via the Lockdown GBV Stories website. Stories can be creative writing, fiction, fragments or poetry as well as visual images (photographs and drawings) or objects (textile embroidery) from people who have experienced GBV.

For those who would like support, or ideas and tools to develop their own creative work in response to their experience of GBV, there will be online creative workshops and drop-in virtual creative cafés with writers and artists.

All workshops and creative cafés will take place online, except for Walking and Storytelling, which will take place in Stanmer Park, Brighton. Workshops are currently intended for UK-based women (including transgender women and non-binary people), but there will be the option to run separate workshops for men if required.

Dr Lesley MurrayProject lead, Dr Lesley Murray, Associate Professor in Sociology, said: “Restriction of movement generated by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a reconfiguration of patterns of gender-based violence. This transdisciplinary project will analyse stories of GBV that will help us unravel hidden tragedies and enable us to raise awareness, inform policy and generate meaningful and urgent change.”

The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the UK Research and Innovation rapid response to Covid-19.


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