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Dr Fiona Vera-Gray - Men’s Violence against Women, Street Harassment, and Pornography
Episode 58th October 2021 • Now and Men • Durham University Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse
00:00:00 00:52:17

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What role can men play in ending violence against women and girls? Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry – and many other women – have been murdered by men in the UK over the last year. This has led to an outpouring of anger about the extent of men’s violence, the pervasiveness of sexism and misogyny that underpins it, and the failure of key institutions to respond effectively. In this episode we talk to Dr Fiona Vera-Gray, Assistant Professor in Durham University’s Department of Sociology, who is an expert on sexual violence, street harassment and pornography, about her research and what needs to change.

The episode covers the following topics:

  • Whether the heightened awareness and public debate about men’s violence against women is likely to lead to significant change.
  • The response of the police, the wider criminal justice system, and UK government to calls for them to do more to tackle men’s violence against women and girls.
  • What men need to do to help become part of the solution.
  • Problems that can arise when men do get involved in work to end violence against women.
  • Fiona’s research into the impacts of men’s intrusions and harassment of women in public spaces, and how this constrains their freedoms.
  • Her research on the content of mainstream online pornography.
  • The influences that pornography is having on society, including on ideas of masculinity and male sexuality, and what we should do about it.
  • The impact that feminism and being part of the movement to end violence against women and girls has had on Fiona. 

You can find out more about Fiona’s work here:, and follow her on Twitter at:

An article on what men can do to help end violence against women by Stephen, Sandy and Nicole Westmarland, ‘How men can be allies to women right now’, was published in March 2021:


If you have been affected by sexual violence, information and support is available from Rape Crisis: