Dr Rahmanara Chowdhury is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology. She is a Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate psychology courses, and supervises projects for final year undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Rahmanara further specialises in developing and delivering culturally informed training, primarily for service providers working in a range of sectors. These are designed to support practitioners to work more holistically with those (particularly from minority communities) who come into contact with their services. Rahmanara has previously delivered training to the MET police, HMPPS, NHS staff, community practitioners and specialist domestic abuse services.
Rahmanara welcomes PhD enquiries from under-represented groups.
Rahmanara completed her PhD at Brunel University London, where she was funded by the ESRC to explore domestic violence and abuse in UK Muslim communities. Alongside this, she held a Research Associate post at Nottingham Trent University where she was involved in a number of forensic and forensic mental health projects within secure settings. She has also been involved with service evaluation projects both within secure settings and third sector organisations. These have included service provision for vulnerable individuals in a high secure mental health setting and young people at risk of exploitation.
In her previous academic post, Rahmanara taught on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (Course Lead) in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care, preparing students for working in this sector. She also set up the Centre for the Study of Wellbeing which aimed to support grassroots expertise through academia and research. Prior to this Rahmanara worked in widening participation at Loughborough University, before moving onto practitioner work supporting victims of domestic violence. Within this role she developed various specialist programmes supporting survivors with their recovery process and training practitioners working to support victims and survivors in a culturally-informed and holistic manner.
Rahmanara is primarily interested in domestic violence and abuse, spiritual abuse, forensic mental health, intersectionality, decolonial approaches to forensic research, and holistic approaches to wellbeing. Her research oftens intersects with all of these. Her current research areas include:
- Application of the web model of domestic violence and abuse – this was the primary output from her doctoral research and is designed to support practitioners to work with clients from all backgrounds more holistically.
- Holistic approaches to reducing (re)offending – this work seeks to explore how the criminal justice system as a whole can work with individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system in a more holistic manner, taking account of their experiences prior to and after such contact. This work has been directly informed by Rahmanaras’ doctoral outputs.
- Understanding spiritual abuse within primarily Muslim communities, but not limited to this. This covers all forms of abuse within faith institutional contexts, and community and domestic contexts which hold a spiritual and/or religious nature to it.
Rahmanara is particularly keen to create bridges across communities that are often portrayed as the other and to be feared through sharing of knowledge, understanding, relationship building and capacity development.
Idriss, M., & Chowdhury. R., Honour Based Stalking. In (Eds) (2023) Young People, Stalking Awareness and Domestic Abuse. In Partnership with the Alice Ruggles Trust https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-031-32379-9_8
Chowdhury, R., (2023). The Role of Religion in Domestic Violence and Abuse in UK Muslim Communities. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, rwad008. https://doi.org/10.1093/ojlr/rwad008
Chowdhury, R. (2023). Understanding Domestic Violence and Abuse in UK Muslim Communities: A Multi-perspective Interpretative Phenomenological Approach. Conference proceedings of the Project dldl and EMIRTA Annual Conference ‘Domestic Violence – Gender – Faith: Promoting Integrated and Decolonial Approaches to Domestic Violence Cross-culturally. SOAS University London.
Chowdhury, R., (2022). Developing a Model of Islamic Psychology and Psychotherapy. Review article. The Muslim World Book Review. Vol 42/4.
Chowdhury, R., & Winder, B. (2022). A Web Model of Domestic Violence and Abuse in Muslim Communities—A Multi Perspective IPA Approach. Social Sciences, 11(8), 354. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/11/8/354#
The Lantern Initiative CIC, Civil Society Consulting CIC, Shaikh, A., Chowdhury, R., (2021). Muslim Mental Health Matters: ‘Understanding barriers to accessing mental health support services and gaps in provision for the UK Muslim community’. The Lantern Initiative, Peterborough, UK. https://www.thelanterninitiative.co.uk/research
Chowdhury, R., Winder, B., Blagden, N., Mulla, F., (2021). ‘I thought in order to get to God I had to win their approval’: a qualitative analysis of the experiences of Muslim victims abused by religious authority figures'. Journal of Sexual Aggression https://doi.org/10.1080/13552600.2021.1943023
Mahoney, I., & Chowdhury, R., (2021). Criminal Justice and Inequality: What can be done to reduce reoffending? Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham. Commissioned by the DAPE project (Developing Academic Policy and Engagement).
Chowdhury, R., (2021), Road to Recovery; Healing from Domestic Violence, London, UK, Ta-Ha Publishers
Terrill, D. J. and Chowdhury, R. (2020) Empowerment in action: A psychological wellbeing strategy for male Muslim former prisoners. Capacity-building document. Forensic Mental Health Conference. Brunel University, London.
Chowdhury, R. & Winder, B., (August 2018), Link to Change Evaluation Report, SOCAMRU, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, Commissioned by Link to Change
Chowdhury, R., (2016), Qawwamoon: Protectors and Maintainers, London, UK, Ta-Ha Publishers