I began my career as a junior litigator at City law firm Simmons & Simmons but after five years I decided that I wanted to do something that had more of a social purpose. I left to run a Citizens Advice Bureau in Petersfield, Hampshire, which I found incredibly frustrating as there never seemed to be enough time or resources to fix the overwhelmingly difficult structural problems facing many of our clients. I decided to become a researcher, and after graduating with a distinction in human rights from the University of Sussex began an ESRC funded PhD in domestic abuse and the criminal law.
I am now part activist, part researcher - together with my husband Barnaby Wiener I have set up a charitable foundation the Treebeard Trust, which works to solve some of the intractable life problems I encountered at the CAB.
I also speak, lecture and publish on domestic abuse and the criminal law, and campaign for reform in this area. I was recently successful in persuading the Government to include an amendment in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 making post separation abuse a criminal offence, and am working on my first book: ‘Coercive Control and the Criminal Law’ which is being published by Routledge in the Spring. I am also working on two new projects - the first involves sexual abuse between intimate partners, and the second will be exploring the relationship between neural disability and perpetrators of abuse.
In September, 2021 I took up the position of Senior Lecturer in Law at City, University of London. I teach Criminal Law, Foundations of Criminal Law and Further Issues in Criminal Law on City's undergraduate and post graduate programmes. I would love enquiries from any doctoral students wanting to work in the area of interpersonal violence including sexual violence, domestic abuse, violence against women and girls and coercive control and the criminal law. I am also interested (from a supervision perspective) in socio-legal research methodologies generally and feminist methodologies in particular.