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Research prize

Research into countering ‘honour’ killings and forced marriage has resulted in London academic Dr Aisha K Gill being awarded a Celebrating Impact prize from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Dr Gill, a Reader in Criminology at the University of Roehampton, received the award for the ‘Outstanding Impact in Public Policy’ for her research. The ESRC is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues.

She’s helped develop legislation including the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007, the National Police Honour-Based Strategy, criminalisation of forced marriage under the 2014 Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act. She supported the NHS, Department for Education and voluntary organisations to develop good practice guidelines, including toolkit for Birmingham’s Women’s Aid to identify forced marriage and assess the risk factors; has acted as an expert witness, including in the Shafilea Ahmed murder trial; and was invited to join Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Expert Reference Group on Honour-Based Violence.

Dr Gill said: “I’m honoured to have my work on addressing violence against women and girls recognised by the ESRC. I will use this prize to remain focused on addressing these harmful practices which remains a serious issue in the UK and internationally.

“One of the major stumbling blocks is the insufficient co-ordination of legal, health and social services for victims of violence. Often support is limited to legal response to such crimes resulting in further suffering for survivors. I will therefore continue to work with professionals, grassroots groups and victims to demand safety, justice, and citizenship rights for all women and girls affected by gender-based violence.”

The 2015 winners were announced at an event in Westminster. Dr Gill received £10,000 to promote the economic and social impact of her research.

Dr Michele Lamb, Head of the Department of Social Sciences at Roehampton said: “I’m delighted for Aisha, this prize reflects the success Roehampton’s academic staff have in influencing policy in the real world. Our students benefit significantly by learning from high-calibre researchers who are dealing with governments and national organisations to influence how they operate; it brings significant extra insight to their work.”

During the next academic year, Dr Gill is due to teach undergraduate modules on Criminal Justice and Domestic Violence, and Gender Violence and Human Rights at Roehampton.


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