Hostile Environments? Exploring gender and class in relation to sexual violence

This research project addresses the knowledge gap that exists regarding working class women’s experiences of sexual violence. The aim of the project is to explore how sexual violence is understood and experienced by victim-survivors at the intersection of gender and class. In doing so, we will develop a more nuanced picture of how social class intersects with, and is modified by, gender inequality in relation to sexual violence. To recognise violence as gendered is to enable a mobilisation of people to challenge violence against women; however, we must also retain a class focus as, for example, being considered as a ‘credible complainer’ is a deeply classed notion rooted in the notion of respectability (Phipps 2009). In this study, we will speak to women about their experiences, including if they have disclosed their experiences and the nature of responses, to better understand the nexus between gender, class and sexual violence.

The project is funded by British Academy/Leverhulme

The study website is

We are recruiting Feb – May 2023. Project runs until October 2023.


Karen Lorimer, Giulia Greco & Paula Lorgelly (2022) A new sexual wellbeing paradigm grounded in capability approach concepts of human flourishing and social justice,Culture, Health & Sexuality,DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2022.2158236

Birdi, G., et al. (2022). “An exploration of patient satisfaction with and experience of a sexual abuse survivors clinic.” International Journal of STD & AIDS 33(2): 180-185.

Lorimer, K., et al. (2022). “Improving the health and social wellbeing of young people: exploring the potential of and for collective agency.” Critical Public Health 32(2): 145-152.