In partnership with the Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester


About the conference

Timed to coincide with the publication of a new textbook “Young People, Stalking Awareness and Domestic Abuse”, which has been produced in partnership with the Alice Ruggles Trust, this year’s conference will feature a number of speakers who have contributed to the book, reports from current research projects relating to adolescent stalking, and workshops on subjects including cyberstalking and honour-based violence. There will also be contributions on tackling stalking in the military and proposed new sentencing guidelines for murder following a history of domestic abuse.

As ever, our aim is to bring together practitioners and academics to promote dialogue and cooperation that will improve strategies for protecting stalking victims and managing perpetrators. The conference will be of interest to criminal justice, health service and third sector professionals as well as academic criminologists and psychologists. This year, we are especially keen to encourage the attendance of safeguarding professionals from a wide range of services.

As in 2022, the conference will be a hybrid, both in person at College Court conference centre, University of Leicester, and on-line.

Keynote speakers and workshops

Our keynote speakers and workshop themes will include:

Maria Mellins: “Young People, Stalking Awareness and Domestic Abuse”
As one of its editors, Maria will present some of the key themes from the book of this title that will be launched at the conference. Maria is Associate Professor in Criminology at St Mary’s University, where she supervises PhD students in the areas of stalking, abuse and the media. Her suite of Ofqual- and CPD-accredited talking and abuse awareness qualifications (SAfEE), produced in collaboration with the Alice Ruggles Trust, are offered to seducation providers throughout the UK.

Louise: “Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service: Supporting and Engaging Young People”
Louise is the Chief Operating Officer at Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service. Over the past 25 years Louise has worked in generic youth work settings, in schools, with young people in care, withhomeless young people, and with those experiencing domestic abuse and stalking. Louise is an experienced trainer and public speaker on stalking, domestic abuse, working with and safeguarding young people.

Rachael Worthington: “Understanding Adolescent Stalking: Challenging Adult Bias through a Developmental Lens”
Rachel is a Senior Lecturer at both Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Central Lancashire as well as a registered Forensic Psychologist with the HCPC. She will discuss how mislabelling adolescents as engaging in ‘stalking’ behaviour could pose serious implications in terms of the development of their self-concept and developmental pathway.

Fiona Drouet and Poppy Gerrard-Abbott: “Gender-based violence in Universities”
Fiona is founder and CEO of the Scottish charity EmilyTest. Her daughter Emily took her own life aged 18 after being subjected to a relentless campaign of physical, psychological and sexual abuse by a fellow student while at University. EmilyTest campaigns to raise awareness of Gender-based violence (GBV) and stimulate change in policy, professional practice, intervention and support in Scottish education.

Poppy teaches criminology, data science, and research methods at the University of Edinburgh. She co-authored the Scottish Government’s GBV Charter for Universities and Colleges, the first framework for minimum standards and best practice in GBV prevention, intervention, and support in the education sector.

Jo Roberts and Chris Leahy: “Tackling domestic abuse in the armed forces”
This interactive workshop will provide attendees with an insight into the work taking place to address domestic abuse, including stalking, in the armed forces. Key areas of discussion will include: prevalence, barriers to reporting, military culture and the Defence domestic abuse action plan “No Defence for Abuse”. Jo, who is Assistant Head Safeguarding Adults, leads on all areas of Safeguarding Adults policy in the armed forces. Chris is a safeguarding advisor for Defence and leads on domestic abuse policy and strategy.

Laura Scarr and Morag Kennedy: “Stalking in hands-on occupations”
Morag holds a PhD in Criminology as well as qualifications in Biomedical Sciences and Forensic Psychobiology. Her research focuses upon offline and online harm in relation to intimate partner homicide, as well as secondary victimisation. Her current projects include intimate image disclosure in relation to IPA, and stalking within hands-on occupations.

Catherine O’Sullivan: “Stalking in Ireland”
Catherine is a graduate of University College Cork and completed a PhD at Osgoode Hall Law School, Canada, in 2005. Her doctoral thesis analyses the legal and societal reaction to a sexually violent female offender. Her main research interests lie in Criminal Law, Criminology, Gender and the Law, Children’s Rights and Law and Popular Culture.

We will also be featuring

  • Rahmanara Chowdhury (Markfield Institute) and Maz Idriss (Manchester Metropolitan University) on honour-based abuse.

The venue

The conference will be held at College Court, a conference centre with hotel accommodation run by the University of Leicester. Delegates get special rates for accommodation on the night before the conference.

 Other accommodation is available in Leicester for attendees preferring to find their own hotel, e.g.

On-line attendees will have access to all sessions taking place in the main hall, but not to parallel workshop sessions taking place in other rooms. The venue has installed new hybrid equipment which will prevent a recurrence of the issues last year that resulted in on-line attendees not being able to hear questions from the in-person audience (for which we apologise).