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Dr Hannah Bows

Associate Professor in Criminal Law

Associate Professor in Criminal Law in the Durham Law School


Hannah is currently an Associate Professor in Criminal Law and Deputy Dean (Research) of Durham Law School. She is Deputy Director of the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA). Between October – December 2023 Hannah will be a visiting fellow at Exeter College, University of Oxford.

Previously, she has held the positions of Director of Equality and Diversity and Co-Director of the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. Hannah is an academic member of KCH Garden Square. She is currently Specialist Adviser to the Women and Equalities Committee on the ‘preventing VAWG’ inquiry. She has previously held panel and advisory roles across a number of public bodies and inquiries including HMCFRS, CPS, and the Law Commission. Between 2019-2020 she was seconded to the Scottish Parliament to examine potential legal responses to ‘elder abuse’. She was a Winston Churchill Memorial Travel fellow in 2019, examining criminal justice initiatives to support victims of ‘elder abuse’.

Over the last ten years she has conducted research examining different forms of violence against older people, with a specific focus on domestic violence, sexual violence and homicide of older women. Between 2020-2024 Hannah is working on a project examining criminal justice outcomes and decision making in cases involving victims aged 60 and over, funded by a British Academy Wolfson Fellowship.

She is also leading a team conducting secondary analysis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) data to examine domestic abuse victimisation among adults aged 60-74. Previously, the CSEW had an upper age limit of 59 on the part of the survey collecting this data. This study is the first to use the data on older adults. The results will be available in Autumn 2023.

Her other recent project include analysis of the so-called ‘rough sex’ defence, a British Academy funded project on sexual violence at music festivals, an examination of DNACPR during Covid and a Home Office study examining safeguarding responses to domestic abuse among older adults.

This work has led to a range of outputs, media interviews and articles, policy and public engagement activity. She has won several awards, including winner of the Emerald Publishing 'Real Impact' prize in the category 'Mobilising Research into Action' (2019-2020). Previously, she was awarded an ESRC Outstanding Impact (runner-up) prize in 2017.

Outside of the university, Hannah is Associate Editor of the British Journal of Social Work. She is also Chair of the British Society of Criminology (BSC) Victims Network, and a member of the executive for the BSC. She is a non-executive director of the North East and North Cumbria ICB. Additionally, Hannah sits on a number of external reference groups and official committees on issues relating to crime and (older) age.
Hannah is interested in supervising doctoral students who wish to conduct research in the areas of crimes against or by older people, violence against women, criminal law, gender, ageing and feminist or socio-legal theory.

For research, media or consultancy enquiries please contact Hannah by email.

Field of Study

Violence against women

Crimes against, and by, people over the age of 60

Sexual and domestic violence

Justice (including processes and procedures)

Feminist and socio-legal theories

Research interests

  • Crimes against, and by, people over the age of 60
  • Feminist and socio-legal theories
  • Justice (including processes and procedures)
  • Sexual and domestic violence
  • Violence against women


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article


Supervision students