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Dr Helen Williams

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Lecturer in Criminology

I started teaching at the University of Leeds in 2015 while completing my doctoral research in the School of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies. My PhD was principally concerned with sexualisation, sex education and the ways in which young people acquire knowledge and cultures of sex and sexuality. This included contemporary issues such as the rise of internet pornography, sexting and revenge porn which led to my current interest in sexual cyber-offences, legislation and the methods employed to police the internet.

I was accepted as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2019.

Teaching and supervision

I teach the following modules:
  • SSC103 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • SSC222 Offender Management in Criminal Justice
  • SSC315 Criminology Dissertation
  • SSC 317 Violence, Gender and Society

Research interests for potential research students

  • Gender and violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Identities, inequalities and crime
  • Sex work
  • Revenge porn
  • Media representations of crime


I am currently working on a pilot project investigating the experiences of people with learning disabilities who have reported sexual violence to the police. I am also at the beginning of a project investigating gender and coercive sexual experiences. I have previously completed research on educational inequalities and widening participation to Higher Education. My specialism is research on sensitive topics and/or research with vulnerable groups.

My areas of expertise include sexual violence particularly amongst vulnerable groups and police responses to complainants of sexual offences. I am interested in the influence of societal inequalities on vulnerability to crime or criminality and media representations of crime, criminals and victims.

As an interdisciplinary scholar, I am experienced in research which spans Criminology, Sociology, Health and Social Care, Education, Media Studies, Children and Young People, Cultural Studies, and Policy Analysis.

Last updated 20 May 2020

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