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Criminal gangs and gender-based violence - how girls are drawn into and exploited by criminal gangs?

Welcome to a lunchtime webinar in which Dr. Tirion Harvard will talk about how girls are exploited in criminal gangs, based on her research in a British context.

Date: October 17, 2023
Time: 12.00-13.30 GMT+1
Place: Digitally via Zoom
Language: The webinar will be held in English

Based on her research, Dr Tirion Havard describes how girls are exploited in criminal gangs, including drug trafficking and weapons transportation, through threats, sexual and economic violence. She highlights how girls in gangs are judged according to stereotypical norms that do not take into account the gender-based violence and coercive control exercised against them. Girls can be viewed as voluntarily active in gangs when the reality is often more complex.

In Sweden, too, girls' involvement in criminal gangs has gained greater attention. However, while they are involved in crime, they may also be exploited and subjected to gender-based violence such as coercive control and sexual abuse – abuse that may be facilitated through use of technology. When efforts to combat criminal gangs are focused on boys and young men, girls are at risk of being left behind.

Following Dr. Havard's talk, a panel of academics and practitioners from Sweden and the UK will discuss the topic. The discussion will touch on the panelists' experiences regarding the involvement and victimization of girls in criminal gangs. The discussion will also highlight how girls’ and women's involvement and exposure to gender-based violence in criminal gangs can be better identified, responded to and prevented.

About the speaker

Tirion Harvard

Dr Tirion Havard is a Professor of Gender Abuse and Policy at London South Bank University. Her research focuses on Gender Based Violence and includes Domestic Abuse (specifically coercive control), Technological Abuse and Child Criminal Exploitation and the intersections between these. She draws on her practice experience as a probation officer supervising and risk managing violent offenders to inform her research which focuses on the experiences and needs of female survivors of abuse. Dr Havard was also seconded to English Parliament advising them on coercive control tech abuse and how it relates to domestic abuse and criminal exploitation.


The webinar is free of charge, but we need your registration by October 15. Register in the form below. A Zoom link will be sent out a few days before the webinar.


Sara Waller Skoog
E-mail: sara.wallerskoog@hig.se

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Published by: Catarina Carlsson Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2023-10-04
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