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Seminar 3: Domestic Abuse, Faith and Community

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Seminars | Workshops

This seminar explores issues of faith and racism in relation to domestic abuse.

Our intention is to show how social work’s practical concern with individuals and families does (must) not close down social, political and intersectional analysis, may draw on legal and international analyses, and to remind colleagues that the Social Work and Social Policy REF Unit of Assessment is a ‘broad church’ into which their work may fit.

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Event details

This 3rd seminar in the What’s Political About the Personal series is in collaboration with the D2N2 Social Work Teaching Partnership.

  • From: Friday 23 September 2022, 12.00 pm
  • To: Friday 23 September 2022, 2.30 pm
  • Location: City Campus, Newton Building, Lecture Theatre 6 (LT6).
  • Cost: Free
  • Booking deadline: Thursday 22 September 2022, 12.00 am

Refreshments will be provided thanks to D2N2 and the Department of Social Work, Care and Community.


In this seminar for researchers and Social Work practitioners from the D2N2 Teaching Partnership, three PhD projects are brought together to help us to consider how race and racism, migration or minoritarianism can shape experiences of violence or abuse in the family. After the papers, respondents will help us to draw out the links for practice, activism and research.

This is event is in collaboration with D2N2, our regional training partnership for social work. Refreshments will be provided thanks to D2N2.


Kuda Dimbi, Doctoral Researcher at Brunel University London


Kuda is a qualified psychiatric nurse currently working as Lead for Training & Development at East London Foundation Trust. She spent 4 years working as a mental health advisor and Independent Domestic Violence advocate with the Women & Girls’ Network supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against migrant women living in the UK: Exploring perception & beliefs within UK Zimbabwean communities


Driven by the limited empirical evidence relating to black African migrant populations’ experiences, this study aims to explore attitudes, perceptions and beliefs relating to IPVAW among Zimbabwean migrants living in the UK and to explain some of the factors associated with apparent tolerance and perpetration within Zimbabwean communities, as well as their ideas for prevention. The study is exploratory and thematic analysis is underway of data collected via anonymous online survey and semi-structured interviews about attitudes, perceptions and beliefs about IPVAW. Findings from the study will expand knowledge and understanding of the nature of how IPVAW manifests for UK Zimbabwean communities and will inform effective health promotion messaging and service improvements for the African diaspora.


Pamela Shelley, Doctoral Researcher at Brunel University London


Pamela is a qualified nurse and worked as a midwife for 12 years, specialising in caring for women who had experienced IPV during pregnancy and postpartum, and for 6 years was a Health and Disability Nurse Assessor for the DWP, making benefits assessments for women survivors of domestic abuse. She is also a Christian leader in a church and provides support as ‘women helping women’ to Christian women survivors of intimate partner violence.

Conservative African Clergy's Experiences of Supporting African Christian Women Who Experienced Intimate Partner Violence


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a growing global public health problem. Studies have shown that IPV affects Christian women, and their ability to seek support and safety can be influenced by their Christian beliefs and practices (Nason-Clark et al., 2018). Christian survivors of IPV use clergy as formal and informal support. Clergy knowledge of IPV and theological perspective will shape the support they provide to Christian women who have experienced IPV. Researchers have explored the experiences of clergy in supporting Christian women survivors of IPV (Houston-Kolnik, Todd & Greeson, 2019; Dyer, 2016), however, there is a gap in knowledge of the experiences of racially diverse clergy, and of a range of denominations. To address this gap, this study explores the experiences of African Pentecostal, Baptist and Catholic clergy supporting African Christian women survivors of IPV in England.

This study utilised an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach through an intersectionality lens to explore the experiences of nine purposefully selected clergy. Interviews were conducted via zoom and telephone, audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim, then analysed using IPA. Preliminary findings include the following themes emerging from the narratives: intersection of IPV, individual personality, Christian and cultural beliefs; support through prayer, Christian counselling, and referral to secular services; Lack of training on IPV and collaboration with service providers, and desire for training on IPV and to collaborate with service providers. Findings highlight the vital role clergy play in supporting IPV-experienced Christian women. Therefore, they need to be included in the interdisciplinary community coordinated response team on IPV, have active education and build reciprocal pathways to feed their knowledge back to the team.


Dr Rahmanara Chowdhury, Course Lead for Islam and Pastoral Care at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education.


Rahmanara is head of the newly formed Centre for the Study of Wellbeing at Markfield IHE. Her doctoral research at Brunel University London was funded by the ESRC Grand Union Doctoral Training Programme.

The Web Model of Domestic Violence and Abuse - Understanding domestic violence and abuse and UK Muslim Communities


This paper brings together doctoral research into two qualitative studies exploring how domestic violence and abuse (DVA) manifests within UK Muslim communities. Study one was conducted with UK-based Muslim female survivors of DVA (n=10). Study two was conducted with UK professionals, experienced in working with both DVA victims/survivors and those perpetrating abuse within Muslim communities (n=9). Through a multi perspective interpretative phenomenological lens, the two data sets were analysed for overarching themes. These themes were subsequently used to develop a visual representation of the findings. The resulting outcome was the web model of DVA. It is argued that due to the comprehensive methodological approach, this model has increased capacity for understanding the extended nature of how DVA manifests for UK Muslim communities, with a particular emphasis on the active role of faith. The model holds potential for guiding the provision of tailored intervention and support, through better informed client care. The potential application for other minority groups is also present.


Fungisai Mushawa, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, NTU

Dr Angie Bartoli, Principal Lecturer in Social, NTU

Dr Hind Elhinnawy, Lecturer in Criminology, NTU

Booking information

All welcome. To attend either online or in person, please register via:

Virtual Event,-faith-and-community

Past event

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