Dr Lis Bates

Dr Lis BatesResearch Topic Title: Improving international policy responses to honour-based violence and abuse (HBVA)

My research focuses on gender-based violence, in particular ‘honour’-based violence/abuse (HBVA). HBVA encompasses a range of abusive behaviours conducted by an intimate partner and/or family members, usually against women. It arises when women (and sometimes men) are perceived to have transgressed community norms around sexuality, independence or other behaviours relating to notions of ‘honour’ and ‘shame’. In the UK over the past decade, law and policy has targeted specific forms of HBVA (mostly forced marriage and FGM), but has not investigated the hundreds of other cases identified by agencies each year.

My PhD (2017) investigated the profile of 1,472 of HBVA cases identified by police and victim support services in England and Wales. I developed a three-group typology, based on the relationship(s) of the victim and perpetrator:

  • Type 1: Intimate partner violence (mainly male to female) in BME couples
  • Type 2: Family violence against a (usually younger) family member
  • Type 3: Both intimate partner and family violence (often from spouse + in-laws to wife)

During this Fellowship, as well as publishing from my PhD, I will develop my findings by conducting comparative policy research on HBVA between the UK, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. These four countries have some similarities to the UK in policy (a strong legislative and human rights approach), but their conceptualisations differ in key ways (e.g. Denmark and Norway use the term ‘Negative Social Control’). Together with the UK, I believe these countries can learn much from an exchange of ideas and approaches to policy responses.

Mentor: Dr Emma Williamson


Bates, L. (2018). Female perpetrators of honour-based violence: conspirators, collaborators, coerced? Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 10: 4, 293-303.
Bates, L. (2018). Justice for victims of sexual abuse and harassment. Lessons for Westminster? A Policy Paper. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, 2:2.
Bates, L. and Gangoli, G. (2018), Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Women’s Advocate – a new professional role to combat sexual violence? PolicyBristol Policy Briefing 59. University of Bristol, Bristol.


E-mail: lis.bates@bristol.ac.uk

LinkedIn:  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/dr-lis-bates-07474275


Website / Blog: https://research-information.bristol.ac.uk/en/persons/lis-bates(bff5dda3-bdaf-4c02-a733-9988205a5141).html