4. Postgraduate students

Posted: Tue May, 2019

This page lists the profiles of postgraduate students researching sexual violence against children (SVAC) or other forms of abuse against children 

Kirsty Alderson
The University of Central Lancashire, UK
School of Psychology

Kirsty Alderson is a Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist.  She started her career in HM Prison Service, working in the adult male estate.  Currently she works for a therapeutic company in the community, providing psychological assessment and intervention to adolescents and adults.  Much of her work is undertaken for local authorities and family court.  Many of her clients have experienced childhood adversity, leading to various challenges for which they require support.  She assists clients to resolve trauma, using Eye Movement, Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, as well as providing individual interventions to help manage aggression and harmful sexual behaviour.  Kirsty also provides psychological advice and training to professionals, to assist in the care and risk management of young people residing in local authority care.  This work led Kirsty to become involved in her PhD research, in the areas of child sexual exploitation, poly-victimisation and resilience. 

Luisa Fernanda Cañas Arandia LL.M
Master in Public International Law with a specialization in human rights - Riga Graduate School of Law (Latvia)  Psychologist, Cum Laude Diploma - Universidad Santo Tomás (Columbia) 

Luisa Fernanda Cañas Arandia is a legal and social researcher with more than seven years of experience in the fields of international law, human rights law, mental health, human trafficking and migration. For more than four years she coordinated the operative center against human trafficking at the Colombian Ministry of Interior. Leaded the developed the Colombian Human Trafficking National System, with the support of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, and the national victims assistance route. Additionally has worked with governmental and international institutions in the framework of human rights reestablishment for LGTBI population and performed research with the Colombian National Institute of Children. 

Her research is focus in the comparative analysis of national legislation in human trafficking and migration. Currently, she conducted legal research regarded unaccompanied minors and migrant children entering in the European Union.  She has worked in Colombia, Latvia and currently in Germany.

Sarah Colley
University of Hull, UK
Faculty of Arts, Culture and Education

Sarah is currently researching the perpetrators of organised CSE across the UK, as part of her PhD at the University of Hull. 
She worked as a practitioner for many years with young people being abused by CSE and has delivered training to both young people and professionals. She has also worked with young people who go missing from home and care, young asylum seekers and refugees, looked after children, and co-ordinated and delivered a specialist arts project to engage with young people who weren't in education or employment. 

More recently, Sarah has worked as a researcher on the Global Slavery Index, based at the Wilberforce Institute for Slavery and Emancipation. She has also been employed on the AHRC-funded project The Anti-Slavery Usable Pastand provided some short-term research for a slavery in supply chains project. She is passionate about CSE and modern slavery, and has organised and ran awareness raising film events and exhibitions to improve understanding of these topics.

Claire Cunnington 
University of Sheffield, UK
Department of Sociological Studies

Claire is completing her Wellcome Trust PhD which takes a Salutogenic approach to recovering from childhood sexual abuse. Salutogenics is the study of what fosters health and wellbeing, rather than what causes illness. As such it is a useful way to conceptualise trauma recovery. I used my experiences as someone who was abused as a child to create methodology that was both ethical and trauma informed.

Following on from my PhD I aim to research the lives of the children involved in historic cases of CSE. My PhD research has demonstrated that we need to hear different voices and experiences to challenge dominant discourses. Thus, my research is focused upon learning from people who have experienced CSA/CSE and utilising that wisdom to improve current approaches and attitudes.

Korinna McRobert
University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany 

Korinna McRobert is a Cypriot born, British artist and academic living and working in Germany. Her work focuses on themes of autobiography, the body, sexual abuse and media. She recently completed a Masters in Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights, focusing on childhood sexuality, childhood sexual abuse and children’s agency. She lectures on the topic on the Bachelor in Social Work at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, where she also studied. Her thesis about the representation of childhood sexuality in art and media, and the fine line between art and pornography in those contexts, won her the graduate award at her university. She is looking into starting a PhD on the geography of the body of survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Everjoy Magwegwe
University Durban University of Technology, Zimbabwe
Faculty of Management Sciences

Everjoy Magwegwe was born in Marondera, Zimbabwe in 1983. She pursued her studies by doing a Bachelor of Science in Development Studies in 2014 from the Zimbabwe Open University and a Master of Development Studies from the Lupane State University in Zimbabwe respectively. From 2014 to date Everjoy has been researching on gender based violence, child marriages, child sexual abuse, Peace-building and sustainable community development and indigenous knowledge systems. In 2017 she enrolled with Durban University of Technology for a PhD Peace-Building researching of finding homegrown/indigenous community based strategies to the prevention of gender based violence in marginalized communities using the action research methodology. She is a peer-educator trainer at the Midlands State University, training on prevention of sexual violence and gender based violence.

Violeta Marković
University of Belgrade, Serbia
Faculty of Political Sciences

Bachelor Degree, Faculty of Political Science, 2009 - 2013
MSC Degree, Faculty of Political Science, 2013 - 2016
PhD candidate, Faculty of Political Science, 2018 - ongoing

Working experience:
Faculty of Political Science, 2018 - ongoing, Teaching assistant and researcher
Jesuit Refugee Service, 2016 - ongoing, Program coordinator
Languages: English, Spanish, Italian, Serbian
Experience in working with unaccomppanied minors refugees, different research projects in the field of child rights

Mike Musisi
Nsamizi training institute for social development, Uganda
Faculty of Social Work 

I am Musisi Mike from Uganda the horn of East Africa. I am 25 years old, an social activist and agriculturalist. I hold a diploma in Agri business management and certificate in social mobilisation and development. I am the founder and CEO of Free Born Children Mission Ministries, an organisation empowering children and women dignity in Uganda. I am also an Ambassador for global peace in Uganda and national coordinator of disaster risk dedication Uganda.

Lakshmi Neelakantan
University of Edinburgh, UK
Moray House School of Education & Sport

Lakshmi Neelakantanis a PhD candidate at the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, supervised by Dr. Deborah Fry, Prof. Lani Florian, and Dr. Franziska Meinck. Prior to this degree, Lakshmi completed an M.Sc. in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation from the University of Oxford, and bachelor’s degrees in Law and Arts from National Law University, Jodhpur. Lakshmi has worked as an international trade attorney with a leading law firm in India where she advised on matters in international trade law, and as a researcher with Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Lakshmi’s PhD research explores measurement of child abuse and neglect, with a focus on development and testing of global child abuse measures, in collaboration with Dr. Franziska Meinck. Specifically, she is interested in exploring how children in different contexts, perceive, react to, and understand questions on abuse and neglect. With this research, Lakshmi aims to provide recommendations on developing child abuse measures that are acceptable in different contexts.

Trudy Nyakambangwe
Women University In Africa, Zimbabwe
Faculty of Social Sciences and Gender Transformative Sciences

I am qualified child specialist with experience of providing high quality recommendations to children and families who are socially excluded or experiencing problems in their lives. I have a successful record of working successfully with individuals ,families or groups in a variety of settings. I have an in-depth understanding of legislation and techniques and tools that can be used to provide preventative intervention methods and their application to a variety of cases. I have a background in teaching which gives me an advantage when engaging with people as l have various creative and diverse ways to foster effective communication with young people and families when providing psychosocial support. I am currently doing a PHD where l will be able to improve my skills and continue my work experience and develop my research abilities and skills. My thesis is on experience, rehabilitation ,post rehabilitation outcomes of sexually exploited and the role of the community in the rehabilitation process. I am currently working on a publication around my thesis topic.

Sanja Polić
University of Belgrade, Serbia
Faculty of Political Sciences

Sanja Polić was born in Loznica - Republic of Serbia, on 16th September 1991. She enrolled Faculty of political social sciences – course social politics and social work in 2010, and in 2014, she graduated as the best in her class. In 2016th she graduated Master academic studies and in 2018th she enrolled PhD studies of the Faculty of political sciences – course social politics and social work.  Currently she is engaged at Faculty of political sciences, University of Belgrade, as the junior researcher. Aside of that Sanja is involved in the activities of NGO ASTRA – Anti trafficking action and currently attending third year of psychotherapy course in Belgrade. Sanja has multiyear experience in work in governmental and non-governmental sectors. She has been attending many various national and international workshops, trainings, conferences and educations.

Bojana Pucarević
University of Nis, Serbia
Faculty of Philosophy

I am working with a subject called  Violence, educational neglect, and abuse. On this subject with the subject professor, I am trying to convey to students modern knowledge on these topics. Also, many years of practical experience in working with children without parental care have awakened my interest in various traumatic experiences of children and young people. In the previous research, I worked with people from the non-governmental sector, other faculties with great knowledge in this field. I want to share my previous experience with others, but also to acquire new knowledge and competencies in this field.

Helen Rawden
University of Bedfordshire, UK
Institute of Applied Social Research, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

Helen Rawden was formally founder and CEO of Child Sexual Exploitation voluntary sector service, Link to Change. She has recently submitted her Professional Doctorate in ‘Leadership of Children’s and Young People’s Services’ to the University of Bedfordshire. Helen’s doctoral research is titled, ‘Random Responses? Understanding sexually exploited young women’s relationship with secondary school education.’ 

Helen’s research interests focus upon the rights of young women who have experienced child sexual exploitation to the provision of a suitable education. She is concerned about what happens to sexually exploited young women’s educational provision when they have had time out and experienced disruption to schooling. How sexually exploited young women experience school exclusion, alternative education, access to further education and the labour market are among Helen’s ongoing interests. These are areas of child sexual exploitation research rarely examined. 

Helen is interested in involving young people in research, in particular, participating on ethics panels and designing research.

Ljiljana Skrobić
University of Nis, Serbia
Faculty of Philosophy

I am a PhD student of Social Work at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade. My PhD is about the best interests of siblings in alternative care in Serbia. I am a teaching assistant at the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš in Serbia. I worked in the Center for foster care and adoption in Belgrade in Serbia as an adviser for foster care and implementer of educational programs for foster parents. 

As a researcher and research assistant, I participated in researches about children (children in care, Roma children, children with disability) and families. Researches were conducted by the Centre for Research in Social Policy and Social Work, which is part of the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade. My professional interests are Social work, Child care, Looked after children, Children rights.

Jordan Steiner
Rutgers University, USA
School of Social Work

Jordan Steiner, MA, MSW, LSW is a Ph.D Candidate in the Social Work program at Rutgers University and the Evaluation Coordinator at the Center on Violence against Women and Children (VAWC). Her research addresses sexual violence against adolescent girls, sexual violence in secondary schools in West Africa, the intersection of refugees and gender based violence, and violence against women and children. Her dissertation research focuses specifically on sexual violence and mental health outcomes of adolescent girls in Malawi. She has also conducted research in Benin for over 10 years, where she was a US Peace Corps Volunteer from 2007-2009, and has worked in Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. Ms. Steiner holds a Masters in International Education with a Certificate in African Education from Columbia University, as well as a Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers and is a Licensed Social Worker.