Hidden voices: Towards participant-led research in gender-based violence




Poster session 1 Wednesday: Evidence production and synthesis


Wednesday 13 September 2017 - 12:30 to 14:00


All authors in correct order:

McGarry J1, Hinsliff-Smith K1, Recchia N1
1 University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Julie McGarry

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: Gender-based violence (GBV) is recognised as a global health and societal issue (World Health Organization, 2017). There is a growing body of evidence surrounding the impact of GBV on the lives and health of those affected. However, to date much of the research undertaken in this field has focused on researcher led or professional accounts and, as such, the voice of survivors has largely been absent. The rationale for the paucity of survivor voices within the GBV discourse generally may be due to a number of reasons including the sensitivity and hiddenness of the field of enquiry. However, it is also recognised that survivor accounts are pivotal for deepening understanding of this phenomena and for the development of effective services and responses by those responsible for providing care and support (Recchia & McGarry, 2017).

Objectives:The aim of the presentation is to report on the methodology, approach, successes and challenges of undertaking two participant-led research projects with survivors of GBV.

Methods: The two research projects utilised an overarching, arts-based research approach which involved the creation of artefacts – poems, clay poetry and narratives – in a workshop environment.

Results: The findings from this research have formed the basis for a series of global, open-access e-learning resources for health and social care professionals.

Conclusions: The use of arts-based research in exploring the lived experience of individuals is recognised within post-modern qualitative research methods and in the current context successfully gave primacy to the voices of the women over those of the researchers.

Recchia N & McGarry J. (2017) 'Don’t Judge Me’: Narratives of living with FGM International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare. (In Press.)

World Health Organisation (2017) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/