Prof Catherine Donovan
Head of Department, Professor of Sociology
|Head of Department, Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology|
Catherine joined the Department of Sociology in September 2018 as Professor of Sociology after spending 23 years at the University of Sunderland. Catherine gained her BA Social Studies at the University of Newcastle, her Masters in Women’s Studies at York University and her PhD at Edinburgh University. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. At Durham she is co-convening the Postgraduate option module Gender, Violence and Abuse (SOCI4060) and convenor for the Undergraduate option module Sociology Community Placement (SOC13511).
Catherine’s current research interests are the use of violent and abusive behaviours by lesbians, gay men, bisexual women and men and/or trans people in their intimate relationships; the implications of love for making sense of and addressing domestic violence and abuse; hate crime/incidents and hate relationships and student safety. She is also currently developing a research project to explore elder abuse of LGB and/or T people.
Catherine welcomes enquiries about supervision from students who want to write an undergraduate, masters or doctoral dissertation on any of these topics as well as, more broadly topics exploring gender and sexuality.
Co-Investigator, (2017-2018) Be the Difference, Pilot Active Bystander Project and evaluation, Funder: HEFCE Catalyst Fund and the University of Sunderland (£82,000).
Principal Investigator (2017-2018) Evaluation of Breaking the Cycle, Blackburn Changing Lives, Funder: Changing Lives (£15,000)
Principal Investigator (2006-2017) Three International Seminar Series showcasing research and best practice from around the world, Funder: NRF and University of Sunderland (£51,000)
UoS three month Graduate Internship in Partnership with Advocacy Centre North (2016) evaluating Partners in Health Advocacy Service (£15,000 pro rata)
Co-Investigator (2014-16) ‘Evaluation of the Selfies Project: Informal Sex and Relationships Education for LGBT Young People’, Funder: Projects Galore (£8,000)
Co-Investigator (2015-2016) Two public engagement events in the ESRC Social Science Festival on LGBT sex and relationships education Funder: ESRC (£2,000)
Principal Investigator (2014-15) Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland, Funder: RCTN (£10,000) undertaking a service evaluation of the Northumberland and Tyneside services.
Principal Investigator (2014) ‘Speaking Out: Trans Experiences of Violence and Abuse’ Funder: CASS (£8,000)
Principal Investigator (2014-1015) The Ace Project: Developing an Agenda for Change for Young LGBT People At Risk Of Sexual Exploitation, Funder: NRF (£7,000)
Principal Investigator (2014-2016) The Emerald Project: Exploring Student Safety, Funder CASS and FES (£7,500)
Co-Investigator (2014-2016) ‘Disability and Hate Crime in the North-east of England’ Funder CASS and FES (£8,600)
Principal Investigator (2014) ‘Evaluation of Sunderland City Council New Customer Services Network’ Funder: Sunderland City Council (£5,000)
Principal Investigator (2012-2014) ‘Exploring the Abusive Behaviours of Partners in LGBT Relationships’ Funder: ESRC (£270,000)
Principal Investigator (2014) ‘Evaluation of North East Domestic Abuse Project’ Funder: NRF (£5,000)
Principal Investigator, (2011-13) Impact of the Cuts, two year longitudinal study of the impact of the Coalition Government’s comprehensive spending review on the School’s partner agencies across the North East, Funder: CASS (£8,000)
Principal Investigator (2009-10) Exploration of reasons why so few LGB and or T victim/survivors of domestic violence and abuse are referred to multi-agency risk assessment conferences, Funder: Gateshead Domestic Abuse Partnership and University of Sunderland (£3,000)
Co-Investigator (In collaboration with a colleague in Community and Youth Work) an audit of services for LGBT citizens of Sunderland Funder: City of Sunderland Council (£2000). Output: Report written February 2008
Principal Investigator (2005-2010) ‘Evaluation of NRF Domestic Abuse Intervention Programme’ Funder: NRF (£500,000)
Principal Investigator (2004-2006) ‘Comparing Love and Violence in Heterosexual and Same Sex Relationships’ Funder: ESRC (£195,000)
- Violence and Abuse
- Donovan, C & Barnes, R (2020). Queering Narratives of Domestic Violence and Abuse. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Catherine Donovan & Marianne Hester (2014). Domestic violence and sexuality what's love got to do with it?. Bristol: Policy Press.
- Jeremy Kearney & Catherine Donovan (2011). Rights, Risks and Responsibilities. TBA: Pending Details.
- Catherine Donovan, J Weeks & Brian Heaphy (2001). Same sex intimacies. Routledge. Taylor \& Francis.
Chapter in book
- Donovan, C (2020). Why legal equality is not enough: The case of domestic violence and abuse in the relationships of LGBTQ+ people. In Same-Sex Relationships, Law and Social Change. Hamilton, F & Noto La Dieg, G Routledge. 253-271.
- Donovan, C, Chantler, K, Fenton, R & Bracewell, K (2020). Feminist Activism Among Academic Staff in the Movement to Address Gender-Based Violence on Campus. In Collaborating for Change: Transforming Cultures to End Gender-Based Violence in Higher Education. Oxford University Press.
- Donovan, C. & Durey, M. (2018). "Well that would be nice, but we can't do that in the current climate" Prioritising Services Under Austerity. In Austerity Policies Bad Ideas in Practice. Rushton P. & Donovan, C. Palgrave Mcmillan.
- Peter Rushton & Catherine Donovan (2018). Introduction: Austerity Policies: Bad Ideas in Practice. In Austerity Policies: Bad Ideas in Practice. Peter Rushton & Catherine Donovan Palgrave Macmillan. 1-17.
- Donovan, C & Barnes, R (2018). Being 'ideal' or falling short? The legitimacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender victims of domestic violence and hate crime. In M. Duggan (ed), Revisiting the “Ideal Victim” (pp.83-101). Policy Press. In Revisiting the Ideal Victim. Duggan, M Policy Press. 83-101.
- Catherine Donovan (2017). Feminism and social work. In Social Work Theory and Practice. L Deacon & S Macdonald London: Sage.
- Catherine Donovan (2017). An exploration of Spare Rib's treatment of violence between women in same sex relationships. In Re-Reading Spare Rib. A Smith London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Catherine Donovan (2015). Tackling inequality in the intimate sphere problematizing love and violence in same-sex relationships. In After Legal Equality. R Leckey Oxford: Routledge.
- Catherine Donovan (2013). Redefining domestic violence and abuse unintended consequences of risk assessment. In Constructing Risky Identities in Policy and Practice. J Kearney & Catherine Donovan Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Catherine Donovan & Marianne Hester (2011). Exploring emotion work in domestically abusive relationships. In Intimate Partner Violence in LGBTQ Lives. Janice L Ristock Routledge. 81-101.
- Catherine Donovan (2008). Feeling at home children of lesbian-headed families telling their family stories in primary school settings. In Invisible Boundaries. E Atkinson & R Palmer Stoke on Trent: Trentham.
- Nigel Watson & Catherine Donovan (2005). Educating About Donor Insemination: Managing Risky Identities in Donor Insemination. In Risk, Education and Culture. Andrew Hope & Paul Oliver Ashgate. 226-242.
- B Heaphy, Catherine Donovan & J Weeks (2004). A different affair? Monogamy and non-monogamy in same sex relationships. In State of Affairs. G Allen Erlbaum.
- J Weeks, B Heaphy & Catherine Donovan (2004). Lesbian and gay families. In Blackwells Companion to the Family. Blackwells.
- J Weeks, B Heaphy & Catherine Donovan (1999). Families of choice autonomy and mutuality in non-heterosexual relationships. In Changing Britain Families and Households in the Nineties. S McCrae Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- B Heaphy, J Weeks & Catherine Donovan (1999). Narratives of care, love and commitment AIDS/HIV and non-heterosexual family formations. In Families and Communities Responding to AIDS. P Aggleton, G Hart & P Davies London: UCL Press.
- J Weeks, Catherine Donovan & B Heaphy (1999). Everyday experiments narratives of non-heterosexual relationships. In The New Family. E Silva & C Smart London: Sage.
- J Weeks, B Heaphy & Catherine Donovan (1999). Partners by choice equality, power and commitment in non-heterosexual relationships. In The Sociology of the Family A Reader. G Allen Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- J Weeks, B Heaphy & Catherine Donovan (1999). Partnership rites commitment and ritual in non-heterosexual relationships. In Relating Intimacies Power and Resistance. J Seymour & P Bagguley London: MacMillan Press.
- B Heaphy, Catherine Donovan & J Weeks (1999). Sex, money and the kitchen sink power in same-sex couple relationships. In Relating Intimacies Power and Resistance. J Seymour & P Bagguley London: MacMillan Press.
- Catherine Donovan (1997). Lesbian families in Britain. In Lesbian Families in Europe. K Griffin London: Cassel.
- Rushton, P & Donovan, C (2018). Austerity Policies: Bad ideas in practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Kearney, J & Donovan, C (2013). Constructing Risky Identities in Policy and Practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Bourne, Adam, Amos, Natalie, Donovan, Catherine, Carman, Marina, Parsons, Matthew, Lusby, Stephanie, Lyons, Anthony & Hill, Adam O. (2023). Naming and recognition of intimate partner violence and family of origin violence among LGBTQ communities in Australia. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 38(5-6): 4589-4615.
- Macdonald, Stephen J., Donovan, Catherine, Clayton, John & Husband, Marc (2022). Becoming cuckooed: conceptualising the relationship between disability, home takeovers and criminal exploitation. Disability & Society
- Donovan, C., Macdonald, S. & Clayton, J. (2022). Re-Conceptualising Repeat Reports of Hate Crime/Incidents as Hate Relationships Based on Coercive Control and Space for Action. Sociological Research Online
- Roberts, N., Donovan, C. & Durey, M. (2022). Gendered landscapes of safety: How women construct and navigate the urban landscape to avoid sexual violence. Criminology and Criminal Justice 22(2): 287-303.
- Clayton, J., Donovan, C. & Macdonald, S. (2022). Living with hate relationships: familiar encounters, enduring racisms and geographies of entrapment. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 40(1): 60-79.
- MacDonald, S.J, Donovan, C & Clayton, J (2021). ‘I may yet be left with no choice but to seek an ending to my torment’ disability and intersectionalities of hate crime. Disability and Society
- Donovan, Catherine & Barnes, Rebecca (2021). Re-tangling the concept of coercive control: A view from the margins and a response to Walby and Towers (2018). Criminology & Criminal Justice 21(2): 242-257.
- Formby, E & Donovan, C (2020). Sex and relationships education for LGBT+ young people: Lessons from UK youth work. Sexualities 23(7): 1155-1178.
- Roberts, N., Donovan, C. & Durey, M. (2019). 'Agency, Resistance and the Non-'Ideal' Victim: How women deal with sexual violence'. Journal of Gender Based Violence 3(3): 323-338.
- Donovan, Catherine & Barnes, Rebecca (2019). Help-seeking among lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender victims/survivors of domestic violence and abuse: the impacts of cisgendered heteronormativity and invisibility. Journal of Sociology 56(4): 554-570.
- Catherine Donovan & Rebecca Barnes (2019). Making sense of discourses of sameness and difference in agency responses to abusive LGB and/or T partners. Sexualities 22(5-6): 785-802.
- Catherine Donovan, John Clayton & Stephen Macdonald (2019). 'New directions in hate reporting research: agency, heterogeneity and relationality'. Sociological Research Online 24(2): 185-202.
- Nik Taylor, Damien Riggs, Catherine Donovan, Tania Signal & Heather Fraser (2019). People of Diverse Genders and/ or Sexualities Caring for and Protecting Animal Companions in the Context of Domestic Violence. Violence Against Women 25(9): 1096-1115.
- Riggs, Damien W., Taylor, Nik, Signal, Tania, Fraser, Heather & Donovan, Catherine (2018). People of Diverse Genders and/or Sexualities and Their Animal Companions: Experiences of Family Violence in a Binational Sample. Journal of Family Issues 39(18): 4226.
- D Riggs, N Taylor, H Fraser, C Donovan & T Signal (2018). The link between domestic violence and abuse and animal cruelty in the intimate relationships of people of diverse genders and/or sexualities: A bi-national study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence
- D Riggs, H Fraser, N Taylor, T Signal & Catherine Donovan (2017). People of Diverse Genders and/or Sexualities and their Animal Companions: Experiences of Family Violence in a Bi-National Sample. Journal of Family Issues
- Stephen J Macdonald, Catherine Donovan & John Clayton (2017). The disability bias: understanding the context of hate in comparison with other minority populations. Disability & Society
- Donovan, C. & Barnes, R. (2017). Domestic violence and abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGB and/or T) relationships. Sexualities
- John Clayton, Catherine Donovan & Stephen J Macdonald (2016). A Critical Portrait of Hate Crime/Incident Reporting in North East England: The Value of Statistical Data and the Politics of Recording in an Age of Austerity. Geoforum 75: 64-74.
- Stephen J Macdonald, John Clayton & Catherine Donovan (2016). Exploring third party reporting across categories of hate in Tyne and Wear. NORTH EAST RACE EQUALITY FORUM RESEARCH Briefing No.9
- Catherine Donovan & R Barnes (2015). Making sense of abusive behaviour in LGBT intimate relationships. Safe The Domestic Abuse Quarterly Spring(52): 13-17.
- John Clayton, Catherine Donovan & Jacqueline Merchant (2015). Distancing and limited resourcefulness third sector service provision under austerity localism in the North East of England. Urban Studies 53(4): 723-740.
- John Clayton, Catherine Donovan & Jacqueline Merchant (2014). Emotions of austerity care and commitment in public service delivery in the North East of England. Emotion, Space and Society 14: 24-32.
- Catherine Donovan & S Griffiths (2013). Domestic violence and voluntary perpetrator programmes engaging men in the pre-commencement phase. British Journal of Social Work 1-17.
- Catherine Donovan & Marianne Hester (2011). Seeking help from the enemy: help-seeking strategies of those in same sex relationships who have experienced domestic abuse. Child and Family Law Quarterly 23(1): 26-40.
- Catherine Donovan & S Griffiths (2011). Voluntary perpetrator programmes issues of engagement and retention. Respect Newsletter, 2010-2011
- Catherine Donovan & J Rowlands (2011). Barriers to making referrals of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) victim/survivors to the MARAC and recommendations for improvement. Safe, Women's Aid Journal
- Sue Griffiths & Catherine Donovan (2011). Benefits of identifying need as well as risk for victim/survivors of domestic violence. Safe, Women's Aid Journal Spring.
- Catherine Donovan & Marianne Hester (2010). I hate the word victim an exploration of recognition of domestic violence in same sex relationships Social Policy and Society. I hate the word victim an exploration of recognition of domestic violence in same sex relationships Social Policy and Society 9(2): 279-289.
- Marianne Hester & Catherine Donovan (2010). Feminist epistemology and the politics of method: surveying same sex domestic violence. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 13(3): 251-263.
- Catherine Donovan & Marianne Hester (2010). Domestic violence in first same-sex relationships making the case for mainstreaming same-sex sex and relationship education. Respect Newsletter Autumn.
- Marianne Hester & Catherine Donovan (2009). Researching domestic violence in same sex relationships - a feminist epistemological approach to survey development. Journal of Lesbian Studies 13(2): 161-173.
- Catherine Donovan & A Wilson (2008). Integrity \& imagination exploring the narrative process of lesbian couples becoming parents. Culture, Health and Sexuality 10(7): 649-665.
- Catherine Donovan & Marianne Hester (2008). Because she was my first girlfriend, I didn't know any different: Making the case for mainstreaming same-sex sex/relationship education. Sex Education 8(3): 277-287.
- Melanie McCarry, Marianne Hester & Catherine Donovan (2008). Researching Same Sex Domestic Violence: Constructing a Survey Methodology. Sociological Research Online 13(1).
- Catherine Donovan (2008). It's not really seen as an issue, you know, lesbian infertility it's kind of 'what's that? Lesbians' unsuccessful experiences of medicalised donor insemination. Medical Sociology Online 3(1): 15-24.
- Catherine Donovan (2006). Genetics, fathers and families Exploring the implications of changing the law in favour of identifying sperm donors. Social and legal studies 15(4): 494-510.
- Catherine Donovan (2005). New parenting: opportunities and challenges. Sexualities 8(2): 131-136.
- Catherine Donovan & A Wilson (2005). Parenting opportunities opportunities and challenges. Sexualities - Special Edition 8(2).
- Catherine Donovan (2004). Why reach for the moon? Because the stars aren't enough. Feminism and Psychology 14(1): 24-29.
- Catherine Donovan (2000). Who needs a father? Negotiating biological fatherhood in British lesbian families using self-insemination. Sexualities 3(2): 149-164.
- Catherine Donovan, B Heaphy & J Weeks (1999). Citizenship and same sex relationships. Journal of Social Policy 28(4): 689-709.
- B Heaphy, Catherine Donovan & J Weeks (1999). That's like my life researching stories of non-heterosexual relationships. Sexualities 1(4): 453-470.
- Catherine Donovan (1996). Young people, alcohol and sex: taking advantage. Youth Policy 53: 30-37.
- Catherine Donovan, C Mearns, R McEwan & N Sugden (1994). A review of the HIV-related sexual behaviour of gay men and men who have sex with men. AIDS Care 6(5): 605-617.
- Catherine Donovan & R McEwan (1994). A review of the literature examining the relationship between alcohol use and HIV-related sexual risk-taking in young people. Addictions 90: 319-328.
- Nicola Roberts, Catherine Donovan, Kate Tudor & Matthew Durey (2018). Agency, Resistance and the Non "Ideal Victim": How women deal with everyday sexual violence?
- Nicola Roberts & Catherine Donovan (2017). Agency, Resistance And The Non \textquoteleftIdeal Victim\textquoteright: How Women Deal With Everyday Sexual Violence.
- Catherine Donovan & Nicola Roberts (2017). Developing and Promoting Safer Communities of Learners.
- Catherine Donovan, Nicola Roberts, Kate Tudor & Matthew Durey (2016). Emerald Project Interim Report.
- Catherine Donovan, Nicola Roberts & Matthew Durey (2014). Teaching Gendered Violence: The impact upon students\textquoteright thoughts (and attitudes).
- Catherine Donovan, Stephen J Macdonald & John Clayton (2014). Reporting and Responding to Hate Crime in the North East of England.
- R Barnes, Catherine Donovan & Catherine Nixon (2013). Researching perpetrators of abuse in same sex and/or trans realtionships: emergent methodological dilemas and reflections.
- Catherine Donovan, John Clayton & Jacqueline Merchant (2012). Localism or Pulling the Plug on Public Services? Consequences of Austerity for the Third Sector in the North East.
- Catherine Donovan, Nicola Roberts & Angela Wilcock (2011). Tyneside Rape Crisis Centre Grace - Northumberland Sexual Violence Project: Evaluation and sustainability report.
- Catherine Donovan, John Clayton, Jacqueline Merchant & Nicola Roberts (2011). An exploration of the impact of the Coalition Government's spending review on the North East and how the Department of Social Sciences might respond.
- Roberts, N, Donovan, C & Durey, M (2019), Landscapes of Safety: The construction and navigation of the urban landscape by students based on their gendered and/or racialised subjectivities, Cass Seminar Series University of Sunderland.
- Roberts, N, Donovan, C & Durey, M (2019), Challenging Boundaries: How students construct and navigate boundaries of safety based on their gendered and/or racialised subjectivities, First Annual FES Research Conference: Boundary Breaking. University of Sunderland.
- Catherine Donovan, Nicola Roberts, Kate Tudor & Matthew Durey (2018), Positioning Universities as a source of Help when Gender Based Violence, Harassment and/or Hate Are Experienced by Students.
- Catherine Donovan, Nicola Roberts, Kate Tudor & Matthew Durey (2017), Help-Seeking of Students.
- Donovan, Catherine, Magić, Jasna & West, Sarah (2021). LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Needs Assessment for Central Bedfordshire Council. Department of Sociology.
- Donovan, C., Clayton, J., Macdonald, S.J, Ungureanu, C. & Knight, M. (2021). Exploring ‘hate relationships’ through Connected Voice’s Hate Crime Advocacy Service.
- Donovan, C, Wilcock, A, Cunnington-Shore, C & Easton, J (2020). The Training Needs of Magistrates in relation to Domestic Abuse. Unpublished Report. Department of Sociology, Durham University.
- Donovan, C & Butterby, K (2020). An eight day working week: LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Sector Snapshot. Durham University.
- Chantler, K, Donovan, C, Fenton, R & Bracewell, K (2019). Findings from a national study to investigate how British universities are challenging sexual violence and harassment on campus: Briefing Paper and Checklist. University of Central Lancashire. (unpublished report).
- Catherine Donovan, Nicola Roberts, Kate Tudor & Matthew Durey (2017). Initial Findings from the Emerald Project: Exploring relationships between structural vulnerabilities and perceptions and experiences of violence and abuse amongst students.
- Catherine Donovan, Matthew Durey, Kate Butterworth & Catriona Hugman (2015). Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland Tyneside Rape Crisis (covering Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside and South Tyneside) service evaluation.
- Catherine Donovan, Matthew Durey, Kate Butterworth & Catriona Hugman (2015). Rape crisis Tyneside and Northumberland Grace (covering Northumberland) Rape Crisis service evaluation.
- Catherine Donovan (2015). Centre for Applied Sciences Newsletter. Sunderland, University of Sunderland.
- Catherine Donovan, Jane Tunmore & Matthew Durey (2014). Evaluation of the introduction of the Sunderland Customer Services Network to Children's Service.
- Catherine Donovan & Matthew Durey (2014). Evaluation of the North East Domestic Abuse Project University of Sunderland.
- Catherine Donovan, R Barnes & C Nixon (2014). The Coral Project exploring abusive behaviours in lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender relationships.
- Catherine Donovan, S Griffiths, N Groves, H Johnson & J Douglass (2010). Making connections count an evaluation of early intervention models for change in domestic violence.
- Catherine Donovan (2010). Barriers to Making Referrals of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) victim/survivors to the MARAC and Recommendations for Improvement: A Study of IDVAs, MARAC Coordinators and PPU Detective Inspectors Within the Northumbria Police Force Area. University of Sunderland.
- Catherine Donovan & F Williams (2008). Scoping exercise assessing LGB service provision in Sunderland.
- Catherine Donovan, Marianne Hester, J Holmes & M McCarry (2006). Comparing domestic abuse in same sex and heterosexual relationships.
- Catherine Donovan, G Gangoli, Marianne Hester & N Westmarland (2004). Provision of services for, and the needs of, children and black minority ethnic women living with domestic violence in South Tyneside.
- J Weeks, B Heaphy & Catherine Donovan (1997). Families of choice the structure and meanings of non-heterosexual relationships, research results.
- J Weeks, Catherine Donovan & B Heaphy (1996). Social Science Research Papers Families of choice patterns of non-heterosexual relationships. A literature review.
- Catherine Donovan, N Sugden, C Mearns & R McEwan (1995). Keep on keeping on a study at ways of enabling people with HIV and their partners to keep on having 'safer sex'.